Louis Vuitton Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2012 Paris

The Vuitton train glided into the Louis Vuitton station; it was impressive and awe inducing. One could imagine what kind of technology and funding were needed to produce this show, which was held inside a makeshift tent. Its passengers were Vuitton-clad models who looked as if they had stepped out of a previous century, when trains had steam engines and ready-to-wear was few and far between, and hinted at couture. You got the feeling that the awe at the spectacle before the audience was relevant as a marketing tool more so than with other brands (knowing what a powerhouse Vuitton is in the world today), if you could possibly forget for details like large floral-shaped buttons reminiscent of an era in fashion gone by, or crystallized logos that gave the impression that they had been attached by hand. The dyed-hair bags’ texture that looked as soft as a Pekingese’s fur. These had the potential, in Vuitton-crazy China, to replace pets. (They might cost about the same.)

Leather damier dresses were like a soft armor, as if held together by chain mail; it’s matching suitcase gave the air of having been found in the archives, then lovingly polished to a nifty new thing. The leather bags and luggage felt like they belonged in another time, when care was given to ‘the art of travel’, a brand meme that holds even more water with this collection- which is also to say that the Marc Jacobs-cum-Louis Vuitton has so much power in the world of fashion that it gives off the impression that it can whip up anything it likes (on a massive scale) and, by sheer brand name alone, make it sell.

Porters carried logoed Louis Vuitton bags, most of which felt like they came from the era of the old, old school, when Louis Vuitton began his brand as a trunk maker for wealthy travellers. The collections looked to be Marc Jacobs’ ode to the brand name he’s made legendary (his own is honored alongside in the Louis Vuitton Marc Jacobs exhibit at the Louvre’s Musée des Arts Decoratifs). Croc hat bags and totes topped with a floral jewel piece had a quieter appeal than the rest of the collection; and the tan and chocolate luggage, which looked slightly weathered- and loved- were sure to catch the hearts of the consumer who had all but had it with flash. In these items, substance and form were given precedence over trendiness; but even in faddish pieces in the collection, like the ruby-red luggage, there was a similar kind of hushed beauty. It was no less Vuitton but again gave the impression of the Louis Vuitton of yore, or what Marc Jacobs wanted us to feel the Vuitton was about: craftsmanship, voyage. At about 10:20 AM the show ended but doubtless the journey of stakeholders with Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton continues until the next full stop.


-Ria de Borja

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