Louis Vuitton Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2013 Paris
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The writing was on the walls, on the catwalk and even on the mammoth block of escalators that ended in a giant mirrored partition at the back of the Louis Vuitton spring/summer 2013 catwalk. Everywhere the eye looked the geometric grace of the checkerboard-like LouisVuitton Damier print could be seen.
 
This season, instead of taking the fashion crowd on a trip to some far-flung location, designer Marc Jacobs’s sartorial voyage was more of a state of mind, and a graphic fantastic one at that.
 
The concept of the clothing was pretty straightforward, take the Damier print and expand or shrink the pattern to your heart’s content. Blow them up extra large like color blocks on a top or shirk them down to a pixel pattern on a skirt suit and do it all on a long and lean silhouette that helps to accentuate the geometric aspect of the style.
 
The way the clothing was presented also enhanced the effect of the print. Models descended the escalators in pairs and walked in lockstep together across the catwalk.  This buddy system was quite clever and not only showed how versatile the simple grid pattern could be, it also revealed how its changing scale and textural interpretations could transform the style from something sever to sweet. For example, when a jumpsuit was crafted out of a white semi-sheer organza that used bands of black to recreate the mathematical style, it both softened and made the pattern more distinctive.
 
To break away from the grid aspect of the show, Jacobs inserted a floral shadow print into the collection. Even then it came either formed out of a micro version of the pint or was overlaid on outfits that were cut in a single color. Say embellishing an all white ensemble that came down the runway next to one in yellow with the same print. Thus creating, with the models walking so closely together, a checker pattern thanks to the monochromatic color of each outfit. The designer took the concept of duality even as far as pairing a black and white model on the catwalk- one wearing a white top and a black pants and the other a black coat and white pants- which reached the outer limit of the concept.
 
Accessories too got the Damier treatment. Pointy-toed kitten heels (the heel itself a thin square) were covered in the checkered pattern. And the bags, well when they weren’t crafted in a flat square shape, came embellished with the two-toned design.
 
But you can’t talk about this Louis Vuitton collection without referencing the Marc Jacobs’s show that took place in New York last month. That show was all about lines and stripes, while this one was squares and checks.  Two sides of the same graphic coin which bookended this spring/summer 2013 season in a truly unique and powerful style.

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