Jacobs strides out for Vuitton's Paris futurama
One of the biggest status labels of them all sent out the smallest and most perfectly formed jewel of a collection in Paris today.
Set against a futuristic cityscape, the Louis Vuitton show featured a gentle army of the world's most feted models, all in identical oversized Afro wigs finished with satin bows, and wearing tiny tweeds, layered chiffons, battered denim, prints from gingham to ikat, rich embroideries and more - often all in one outfit.
Louis Vuitton designer, Marc Jacobs, is one of the most powerfully influential names on the international fashion circuit and here he was on strongest form.
Like children in the world's most exclusive sweet shop, fashion editors and the by now pre-requisite celebrity contingent - Catherine Deneuve, Freida Pinto, Leighton Meester and Alison Goldfrapp all sat front row - looked on as toggled jackets, fringed skirts, bags dangling with trinkets and shoes that appeared to be wearing their own moustaches swept by in the most gorgeous patchwork of colour and texture imaginable.
The ethnic referencing that has been seen elsewhere in Paris was here used to the most modern effect, fused with utilitarian materials - army green cottons in particular - ensuring this was more sci-fi, not to mention extremely well-dressed, traveller for the 21st century than cliched East meets West in flavour.
Like the larger-than-life aforementioned hair, the scaled up size of the new Louis Vuitton bag - most prominently a large duffle - only served to emphasise the doll-like proportions of the clothes.
Once again, there was very little that fell below mid thigh - legs will be on display for all to see six months from now - but charming innocence as opposed to overt sexuality was the dominant mood. Quintessential Americana was seamlessly mixed with Parisian hauteur as puffy pants were layered over cycling shorts covered in the type of intricate embroidery that is usually the preserve of the couture atelier over and above sportswear. Flirtatious, French baby doll dresses, similarly, were worn over shrunken proudly preppy shirts buttoned up to the throat that were more Brady Bunch than femme fatale.
And what of new season Louis Vuitton footwear? In place of the ultra-high strappy sandals that have dominated fashion for so long came clogs, moccassins and loafers, all with a spherical heel no more than around two inches high.
Elsewhere in the French fashion capital, it appears to be a tea towel and raffia moment. The stylist and long-time Helmut Lang creative director Melanie Ward has been presenting her debut collection in a Paris town house throughout the week including bustier tops made out of nothing more obviously grand than jute and relaxed tailored separates in soft suede and washed cottons all with a distinctly homespun and natural feel. Roland Mouret, meanwhile, whose show opened the day's proceedings, and who is best known for the form-fitting Galaxy dress, as worn by everyone from Demi Moore to Victoria Beckham, softened his normally highly structured silhouette and finished shrunken jackets and coats with what looked like viscose coated straw.
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