A giant steam engine slowly chugs into the station. As it settles to a rest, the lights rise and an attendant appears at the end of the cabin to assist a lady descending. In a simply shaped camel coat with wide lapels and over sized jeweled buttons, her towering hat is rivaled only by her towering strappy platform stilettos She meets a porter, who is carrying her sparkling black overnight bad as well as a medium-sized black leather purse. No, it is not a scene from the latest period piece starring Keira Kneightly, it is the Louis Vuitton 2012/2013 Fashion Show from Paris Fashion Week. The grand production is fitting for legend of the luxury world.
The ladies line features a cross between Victorian and Mod influences, with enormous hats and over sized Jackie O glasses accenting primly cut overcoats, paired with matching wool skirts and bloomers. Marc Jacobs has steered the legendary French design house as creative director since 1997, and his signature, classic style is evident in yet another solid collection for this timeless luxury line. Luxe fabrics are of course in use for the princess-cut coats, as well as the slim suits featuring cropped blazers with rounded lapels and stovepipe pants with giant costume jewelry accents. Jeweled flowers bedeck many of the coats ,with over-sized geometric gems featuring on dresses and bags as well.
On the menswear side, British designer Kim Jones presented his second collection for the line, which was inspired by Paris in the 70s, with echoes of the Japanese influences of the time. The show itself was in a glass building with models emerging from a giant mirrored portal. The space somewhat reflected Paris’ Centre Pompidou, an architectural highlight of Paris in the 70s. And the mirrored orb suggested a sci-fi futuristic vision from the era.
The over-arching theme of this LV collection (and all of the really) is luxury travel. The man on the move, in style. There are lots of options for the jet-setting Gatsby: Two-tone suits, waxed cotton hunting pieces with removable lining for the country and fur trimmed sateen jackets for the city. We love the quilted bomber jackets and vest and the thick textured sweaters with geometric weaves. The details include nods to the cities that inspired the line: PARIS and TOKYO belts, plus feather and chain adorned straight pins and metal accents on shoes.
The double-breasted overcoat is this season’s must-have. It is luxe and modern, while hinting at the 70s. The other stand out of design is patterned jacket (in different shapes) with matching over-sized scarves. It’s most definitely a statement. The futuristic reflective puffy jackets are a little too reminiscent of 80s ski gear to be taken seriously, but the velvet sports coat and the tailored trenches are perfect.
Men’s accessories feature luxurious leathers and sleek designs. There are richly colored exotic leathers for portfolios and laptop cases (burgundy snakeskin for the Gatsbiest of us). Plus greet shapes like a cylindrical doctors bag in calf skin and sturdy but elegant attaches. One stand-out is the classic steamer bag, reinvented in different sizes and materials
Both Men’s and Women’s 2012/2013 lines from Louis Vuitton have a focus, fittingly enough, on luxury travel…the way it used to be.