Remember when Marc Jacobs obsessed over Downtown Abbey? It resulted in a highly memorable Louis Vuitton show – the runways were always big budget events under Jacobs’ creative directorship, but this particular one came complete with a full life-size replica steam train, models with porters and luggage and ensembles that could practically transport you back a century without ever looking dated. Basically it was a knockout in every way – a true fashion spectacle. Today’s autumn/winter 2015 show had the same amount of theatrical impact and drama, but Mr Jacobs didn’t need the excess of a tremendously expensive set for his eponymous line – the marvellous clothes easily spoke for themselves. He left Louis Vuitton well over a year ago now and the sharp focus he can now channel into one super-brand is paying off greatly.
The girls (or should that be women, for each model felt sombre and mature with her schoolmarmish pushed-to-the-front top-knot, purposeful, slightly stooped stomp and gothic Nars makeup) looked like they were in control of their own destiny. And so she should be – the collection was inspired by the inimitable fashion editrix Diana Vreeland.
Opening the show was a model of the most graceful but also stealthy variety to do the first look justice: Erin O’Connor. She kicked off proceedings in a beaded-stripe black shift with patent elbow gloves, kinky patent pull-on boots (“Unshined shoes are the end of civilisation,” Vreeland famously stated) and a determined glare. That set the tone for the rest of the show’s deeply dark mood, but with decades, subcultures and silhouettes thrown into the mix with wild abandon, plus incredibly intricate embellishment the looks provided a far more luxurious and eccentric line-up than anything resembling costume. There still was something of the Agatha Christie or Poirot about these women though – were they dangerous? Was that one in the sweeping brown maxi-skirt and natty jacket a murderous Victorian villain? What about the ghostly white, embroidered floral gown - a roaring twenties tearaway? A 1950s secret agent in a full pleated skirt and belted jacket? Or were Marc’s creations just as serious about style as the eccentric Vreeland?
Catwalk pictures to be added shortly...