Thursday, 19 July 2012

Love of Travel by Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2012/13 Collection by Marc Jacobs

It’s so hard to find a porter when you need one these days, don’t you find? Well, not if you’d traveled on the 10:00 Louis Vuitton express to the Louvre. A real vintage locomotive rolled into the “station,” pulling a carriage of behatted young ladies, attired as if they might have started their journey circa 1912. As they alighted on the “platform,” each was met by her own smartly liveried porter a multiple bag-carrying presence haughtily ignored by the traveler he was serving.

If Marc Jacobs has been watching Downton Abbey, we wouldn’t be at all surprised. The mise-en-scène, with its pre-World War I aristocratic theme, held up a double-sided mirror to the Louis Vuitton enterprise, simultaneously reflecting the past of the company (when travelers really did commission suites of handmade trunks for their long, slow journeys by train and ocean liner), and its present as a luxury success in a time when new classes of the super-rich are also piling up their own sets of LV trophy purchases in the instant-communication age. A triple layer of significance (or is that quadruple?) is provided by the fact that, in another wing of the Louvre, the Musée de la Mode et du Textile, a massive exhibition in which Louis Vuitton’s luggage heritage, and Marc Jacobs’s contribution to the marque through his ready-to-wear runway inspirations, are melded.

'Love of Travel' Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2012/13 Ad-Campaign

Shot by Steven Meisel, this is the first Louis Vuitton campaign ever to evoke so exactly the ambiance of the fashion show. Unprecedented levels of know-how and attention to detail were deployed to create a compelling restatement of the romance of travel, true to the heritage of Louis Vuitton.

Exactly how mightily successful that dynamic must be can be gauged by pulling back and imagining what it took to source, repaint, and create a functioning faux-railroad so that several tons of a steam-engine could appear to chug into a tent in a courtyard of the Louvre. It ratchets up the level of this season’s experiential fashion happenings to another level of amazing. Only compare the spectacle to the nineties, when it was thought wondrous when the fashion crowd was asked to a Paris station to see John Galliano’s Apache girls arrive at an actual Paris gare via locomotive. Now, the loco and the station are taken to the audience, all for a half-hour fashion display.                 

But what of the clothes, you cry? Well, though Jacobs’s serious-looking young ladies of entitlement may at first glance seem heir to a TV-series pre-WWI wardrobe, it’s really only a matter of the elongated, ankle-grazing, A-line silhouettes, and the tall, deep-brimmed, expression-concealing hats, each sprouting an eccentric medallion of fur, with a puff of feather, on the side. Break these looks down, and you have a myriad of jackets, often in glittery fabrics, with oversize jeweled buttons, severe, sleeveless A-line coats, square-necked Empire waist dresses in Lurex, each of which doesn’t need to look in the slightest vintage-y in a modern girl’s wardrobe. Funnily enough, Jacobs’s Louis Vuitton for fall happens to bear a direct resemblance to Prada’s. Now that two forces of the overground avant-garde are thinking along the same lines, that’s a trend with potential forward-motion. Au revoir. And over to you.

Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories

Photo Credit/Source: © VOGUE
Photography by © Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway


LV Haute Joaillerie, 23 Place Vendôme, 1st store-opening July 3rd, 2012
ANDREA JANKE for Mosnar Communications


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