Decadent designs from star of Louis Vuitton

Kate Moss during the Louis Vuitton winter show at the Cour Carrée du Louvre as part of Paris Fashion Week yesterday. photographs: pascal le segretain/getty

Kate Moss during the Louis Vuitton winter show at the Cour Carrée du Louvre as part of Paris Fashion Week yesterday. photographs: pascal le segretain/getty


Paris fashion week ended yesterday with a stellar collection from Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton in the Cour Carrée du Louvre, closing a strong winter season.

Dressed in pyjamas, the designer took his bow at the finale to roars of applause on a set decked out like the corridor of a grand turn-of-the-century hotel, reinforcing the association with travel, which has always been Vuitton’s trademark. That air of Belle Époque decadence filtered into the clothes, with voluminous cocoon coats, padded in silk or lavishly trimmed with fur, recalling Paul Poiret’s famous kimonos of 1911.

The models, including Kate Moss in a grey lace gown, swept out of their rooms in floor- length tweed coats, in dressing-gown style or high-waisted, while others marched to the beat in businesslike suits with longer skirts or flared trousers.

Night and day

The distinction between night and day was often blurred by surface treatments – the marabou trim on pale tent coats, the delicate silk dresses edged with lace or the fur-collared satin negligees in pale vintage colours.

What stole the show, however, were the sparkling coats and suits with their deep borders spangled with gold or silver, giving a look of modern luxury and opulence to this ultra-feminine and romantic collection. Even the bags, in feathers and fur rather than the usual canvas, reflected the collection’s soft, sensuous, old-style glamour.

Refinement and elegance rather than showiness have always defined the style of Hermès where designer Christophe Lemaire is getting into his stride as creative director.

Reworking classics

The collection was staged in the Lycee Henri IV. It’s a tough job reworking the house classics, but he did so successfully in this calm collection with only token nods to trends. A cape thrown over a longer skirt, a tufted carpet coat shrugged over the shoulders or a sleek tuxedo suit had the low-key luxury and polish bound to keep the company’s sales figures soaring.

Designs on you: What the fashion-savvy will be wearing

Trends from fashion week

* Sloping shoulders on oversize coats and jackets – noticeable everywhere.

* Lots of plaid, tartan and menswear fabrics used in feminine ways .

* Summer colours for winter – all shades of pink, cream and blue.

* Longer skirt lengths in new shapes; jackets with contrast sleeves.

* Hints of the 60s in mini- skirts and tunic dresses.

* The shoulder wrap (at Celine, Stella McCartney and Jean Paul Gaultier).

The Irish in Paris

John Molloy From Ballycahill, Co Tipperary, the son of a racehorse breeder, has had a long career in the fashion industry. Starting in Brown Thomas at 18, he moved to Paris where he worked for global giant LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) for seven years. In 2005, he left, got married and joined L’Oréal as marketing director for Lancôme based in Geneva. Now he and his Spanish wife Clara and their two children divide their time between the Swiss city and Paris.

Clara, who worked for luxury brands in Barcelona, set up a fragrance business five years ago called Memo, aimed at capturing personal memories of place through scent.

Since then it has become so successful that in June , John quit L’Oréal to work with her on further expansion of Memo, which is now stocked in 15 countries and in shops such as Colette and Bon Marché in Paris and Harvey Nichols in London.

Plans include a new range of “leather” perfumes and a Paris showroom opening in March.