Louis Vuitton capped a Paris fashion week dripping with jewels, sequins and glamorous jet-setters by going back in time to one of the most fashionable ages of travel: The era of the Orient Express.
In a big-budget production, the house that made its name and built its early fortune with leather luggage wheeled out a steam-spewing locomotive on tracks at the Louvre Museum for its fall-winter show Wednesday.
Models descended from the life-size replica Orient Express dressed as bourgeois dames in tall Edwardian hats. Each was trailed by a valet carrying — naturellement — Louis Vuitton hat boxes, vanity cases, and petite valises in crocodile and embroidered sequins.
It took a moment for the spectators to focus on the clothes on the platform catwalk.
“It’s just sumptuous, and what a spectacle,” said French cinema icon Catherine Deneuve stepping onto the carriage after the show.
The signature bold patterns of Louis Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs traveled first-class alongside brocades and jacquards appliqued with laser-etched plastic stones. Adding to the time warp, big bejeweled buttons and curved lapels on three-quarter length coats harked to 1960s’ fashion.
Long heavy fabrics in brown, black, siennas and purple plunged to bottom-heavy and layered silhouettes.
“We’re imagining the romance of a better time,” said Jacob speaking backstage. “Whatever you try, clothes never really live in the past. They are worn now so they are modern, with a modern take.”
At which point Jacobs revealed he was wearing a knee-length black dress. “Oh, don’t worry, I’m wearing boxer shorts underneath.”