“Welcome to the Hotel Louis Vuitton, at the Cour Carrée of the Musée du Louvre. We’ve been able to find you a room, which is a miracle, since we only have 50, and what with the Ritz being closed for renovation, and the Crillon soon to follow suit, we’re never empty. Don’t worry if you see girls wandering around the corridors. It’s not what you might think they’re here for the defile. Would you like to have your trunks sent up now?” On a vast circular set with a runway consisting of a row of numbered hotel room doors and a charming nineteenth-century blue scroll-print-papered wall, Marc Jacobs gave vent once more to his incredible soaring imagination, one capable of elevating the experience of being at a Louis Vuitton show and the clothes themselves. They, incidentally, were remarkable, and took the last day of Paris, and therefore the fall 2013 season, to a delicious and delirious high.
The basic conceit was this: One by one those 50 doors would open, and out would stride a girl to walk the corridor. She could be attired in a long lace-shouldered satin dressing gown atop a plaid lingerie slip, say, or a fur-lined checked coat whose crisscross pattern gradually dissolved into a band of sequins at the hem, or a thirties floral velvet Empire dress with a suggestion of the once glorious, now forgotten evenings when it was first worn. Accessorizing came from the understated crocodile duffle bag or powder-puff marabou purse by her side, very high forties ankle-strap platform sandals, and a choppy black wig, a savage, the-coiffeur-just-had-a-fit-and-kept-hacking crop pitched somewhere between A for Arletty and B for Bowie, David.
Security clearly isn’t a problem at this establishment, because each model left her door wide open, revealing a little of what was going on behind it: flickering black-and-white images of a man rolling up his sleeves, an unmade bed in front of a gently moving curtain, or a trunk and a hatbox waiting for collection. This mesmerizing performance finally came to an end when Kate Moss sashayed into view in a smoky gray devoré velvet floor-length bias-cut dress, gave a sly wink to someone sitting in the audience, did the circuit, then got back to her room well, it’s La Moss we’re talking about here, so the presidential suite, most likely and slammed the door shut.
You could see all this, if you like, as the interplay between the private and the personal, what does and doesn’t get made public, what should and shouldn’t be shown. Life at a hotel, basically. But also life at a behemoth of a modern global luxury brand, truth be told. And even with the remarkable mise-en-scène Jacobs conjured up, there was something much more intimate and emotional about this presentation. Jacobs may have touched on almost every single direction the coming season has thrown at us menswear fabrics, heavily worked coats, things that look like they’re meant for cocooning at home, but in its unabashed aching romance, and in its desire to create a personal, human-scaled sense of what Louis Vuitton can be, it was a collection that touched heart and mind.
Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
Photo Credit/Source: VOGUE / Louis Vuitton
Runway: Photography by Yannis Vlamos / InDigitalteam / GoRunway
Details: Photography by Gianni Pucci / InDigitalteam / GoRunway
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