Last week, we saw a fashion show on an airplane; this week, it’s an antique train. Marc Jacobs’s fall fashion show for Louis Vuitton began with a beautiful handmade steam engine pulling into a set in a courtyard of the Louvre, which had been transformed into an old train station edged in iron and adorned with a clock that glowed like a full moon.
After the train — with a cabin emblazoned with the Louis Vuitton name — chugged into the station and the clouds of steam parted, models emerged, followed by porters carrying the new Vuitton bags. It was a homage to the company’s origins as a luggage purveyor, and perhaps also a nod to the Academy Award-winning film “Hugo,” about a boy who maintains the clocks in Paris’s Gare Montparnasse train station.
Jacobs told reporters backstage that the steam engine had been “hand-built from scratch by the Vuitton team,” according to the Telegraph. He conducted interviews from a velvet banquette aboard the wood-paneled Vuitton Express while wearing a dress, and told the Guardian that the train could see a second life, perhaps as a pop-up store somewhere. Jacobs’s previous Vuitton show also featured a massive set — a slow-turning vintage carousel, which models rode to present their clothes.
The fall collection, which featured high-waisted silhouettes, towering hats, ornate buttons and echoes of the famous Vuitton checkerboard pattern that has been used on luggage singe 1888, was widely praised by fashion critics.
“To stage one of the most extravagant, glamorous catwalk shows Paris fashion has ever seen — and to put a working train and porters at the centre of it — is a confident statement from Jacobs and Vuitton about pride in what the house stands for,” wrote Jess Cartner-Morley of the Guardian. “Recalling a time when train travel was considered the height of luxury, the clothes exuded wealth,” wrote Karen Dacre, of the London Evening Standard.
See the entire show, and images of some of Vuitton’s most show-stopping looks, below.