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Choo-choo chic at Louis Vuitton retro show

By Thomas Adamson
Associated Press / March 7, 2012
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PARIS—When the reconstructed station clock struck 10 a.m. to a noisy blast of steam, spectators at Louis Vuitton's fall-winter show gaped as they were transported back in time.

Long heavy fabrics in brown, black, siennas and purple plunged to bottom-heavy A-line and layered silhouettes.

A life-size Orient Express chugged down train tracks, from which models descended dressed as bourgeois dames in tall Edwardian hats. Each was followed by a valet carrying -- bien sur -- Louis Vuitton hat boxes, vanity cases and petite valises in crocodile and embroidered sequins.

Such was the cinematic spectacle, it took a moment for spectators to focus on the clothes on the platform catwalk.

The signature, bold patterns of creative director Marc Jacobs, traveled first-class alongside brocades and jacquards appliqued with laser-etched plastic stones.

Adding to the time warp, big, bejeweled buttons and strong lapels on three quarter length coats harked back to the fashions of the '60s.

"We're imagining the romance of a better time," said Jacob speaking 'backstage' in a sumptuous looking cabin, "whatever you try, clothes never really live in the past. They are worn now so they are modern, with a modern take."

At which point Jacobs revealed he was wearing a knee-length black dress. "Oh, don't worry, I'm wearing boxer shorts underneath."

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