French maids and fetish inspire Jacobs


THE NEW drop-shouldered silhouette, the most significant trend for winter 2011, featured strongly in Marc Jacobs’s collection for Louis Vuitton yesterday, drawing a strong Paris season to a close.

Its theme was fetishism, fashion and French chambermaids, with usherettes outside vamping it up beforehand in aprons, black stockings and feather dusters.

The flaunting of the new Lock-it handbags as objects of fetishist desire had a certain irony on a day in which LVMH announced the purchase of the Rome-based jewellery company Bulgari for a staggering €3.7 billion.

This was a highly polished, coherent collection, the tarty styling not disguising the narrower, nipped-in waists and puffed-out sleeves of the curvier proportions. It showed in handsome grey wool jodhpurs, in a demure navy dress with a Peter Pan collar and glossy patent coats in appealing colours such as grey and chocolate.

Models emerged from an old-style hotel elevator in peaked caps and Mary Jane shoes. Kate Moss made a surprise appearance at the finale, dressed in black knickers and boots and defiantly smoking a cigarette.

Ending the week on another high note was the second collection for McQueen by Sarah Burton, hotly tipped to design Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. Marie Antoinette may have lost her head in La Conciergerie, the former 14th-century prison where the show was staged, but Burton kept hers with a strong collection called The Ice Queen and Her Court that proved her more than capable of sustaining the McQueen signature style.

From the opening numbers, handloomed white wool coats edged with fur, to the floor-sweeping finales of ethereal full-skirted organza gowns corseted in bone china mosaics, her hand was sure and steady.