If anyone doubts that this is the most covered up European fashion season in memory, then they should check out the latest fall 2011 collection by Louis Vuitton, where even though the theme was fetishism, there was practically no flesh on display.
French maids suggestively dusted down the stairs at the entrance to this show, staged in a courtyard in the Louvre on Wednesday, March 9, in Paris, the last day of shows of a four-city season lasting one month.
Models in suggestive uniforms with tiny plastic masks, S&M corsets, mini handcuffs and bits of bondage hit the glassy black catwalk, though in the most ladylike of doses.
"I just love the idea of revealing something, and not giving everything away, you know, at the first moment of keeping something covered," explained Vuitton's creative director Marc Jacobs backstage. "Some things were strict but some things were quite saucy, almost innocent. Everything was covered up, there was no skin, I mean very little skin, some girls didn't wear any skirts so they showed their legs, yet it was conservative."
Jacobs also served up lots of great products, from nipped waists yet voluminous coats, often worn with just boots, snazzy pencil skirts and high-waisted jodhpurs that all looked great. And there was plenty of firepower in the accessories - suggestive rubber riding boots with high heels or lacy fetish booties, LV-stamped totes or commercial and cool fur shoulder bags.
This Vuitton show was the most polished of any of the some 400 shows on any official calendar. In a brilliant piece of production, the house built four faux antique elevators, which liveried porters opened for the naughty models. Even the wrought iron gates were custom made with built-in LV initials.
It was a no expenses spared moment of frothy Parisian panache by an American designer at the height of his game.