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Exclusive Louis Vuitton Images

Unseen images from Carlotta Manaigo and Robbie Spencer's Louis Vuitton shoot in Dazed & Confused's August issue

If there’s one thing to be taken away from the recently opened Louis Vuitton Maison on London’s Bond Street (aside from a dizzying, jelly-kneed sense of consumer lust), it’s a reminder that the classic Parisian luggage-maker has produced some mighty fine ready-to-wear collections since it first dipped its toe into the murky waters of runway fashion in 1999. The prompt? A retrospective exhibition of the house’s seasonal fashion offerings on the store’s top floor, curated by Katie Grand, which whisks visitors through the highlights-so-far of Marc Jacobs’s super-luxurious vision for the house, from monogram denim hotpants and translucent nurse uniforms to sumptuous furs and the neon, brocaded craziness of spring 2010’s new age-themed collection. It’s enough to get your heart racing at the possibilities of the decade to come, which were amply hinted at in Vuittons autumn/winter 2010 men’s and women’s collections.

“This wasn’t a fashion house when it was created,” says Marc Jacobs. “It made bags and luggage, so we use that as a point of departure. We embrace it, and always want to set the bar a little higher; each season I think we go a little further and we do a bit better.” For women this winter, this translated to a celebration of simplicity, style and femininity, the latter being explored at the runway show through Jacobs’s casting of models of a variety of ages and shapes, including Coco Rocha, Lara Stone and Elle Macpherson. The shape of the collection itself is decidedly 50s – dirndl skirts, nipped-in bodices, oversized coats and necklines that scoop to reveal bouncing cleavages, with garments executed, in a range of typically intriguing fabrics including wool-punched silk, compact tweets and shearling corduroy.

As ever, the house is keen to tap into its heritage, and for winter this comes through most in the collection’s seemingly endless reconfigurations of the speedy bag in leathers and crocodile. Meanwhile, the generally-more-subtle men’s line, headed up by ex-Margiela designer Paul Helbers under Jacobs’s direction, looked further back in time to the Wiener Werkstätte of the early 20th century – a place where Franz Kafka and Egon Schiele coexisted alongside equestrian aristocrats and developed a unique way of mixing formality with a loose, artistic sensibility. Thus super-glossy leather coats and riding boots are mixed with untucked, boxy shirts (often with Schiele-style mini collars), short waistcoats and layered blazers and double-breasted cardigans. Colours and fabrics seem to be channeling Schiele’s palette, with a variety of dusky greys and browns vying against flashes of orange and acid-yellow, and marled wool textures on coats coming across like the agonised scribbles of the artist’s expressionist canvases.


Photography Carlotta Manaigo
Styling Robbie Spencer
Hair James Pecis at D+V using Bumble
Make-Up Florrie White at D+V using Lancome and Lancome Men
Casting Angus Monro for AM Casting at Streeters
Models Louise Pedersen at Next, Roch Barbot at Bananas
Photo Assistant AJ
Styling Assistant Elizabeth Fraser-Bell
Hair Assistant Yumi Makada