PFW Diary: A train, the Louvre, and Louis Vuitton’s stellar fall collection

Photography by Peter Stigter
Photography by Peter Stigter

View every look Kate has worn since her engagement »

“When the clock strikes 10, the train will pull into the station,” read the show notes for Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2012 runway show. Well, the train arrived about 8 minutes late, but pull into the station it did—a full-on locomotive chugging into a tent in a courtyard of the Louvre, pulling a passenger car full of models.

As each girl stepped off the train she was accompanied by a bellman carrying her oversized Vuitton bags tipped in goat, mink, ostrich, and croc. These weren’t the type of ladies who travel in steerage. Even the simplest A-line coat or pea jacket had enormous jewelled buttons.

Much of this collection looked more like couture than ready-to-wear. Brocades and jacquards were embroidered and appliquéd with holographic geometrics and laser-etched plastic stones. Tinsel was woven to resemble sparking tweed. Kangaroo leather was patch-worked and decorated with plastic. There were pony and seal appliqués and, according to the press kit, crystal tap fittings. “Joyfully vulgar” were the house’s own words to describe the collection.

Marc Jacobs will be fêted tonight at the opening of a Vuitton exhibit at the Musée des Art Décoratifs. His fearless exuberance deserves every kudo.