The huge red velvet drapes that swagged the stage set the decadently theatrical tone of Marc Jacobs' latest men's collection for Louis Vuitton. The cape, the velvet jeans tucked into ostrich boots, and the cap only compounded the effectonce again this season, we were being invited into the world of Rudolf Nureyev. A dungaree or two echoed the downtime togs of the primo male ballet dancer of the seventies. Bow ties on silk shirts screeched, "Let's go disco!" And all the astrakhan in the collection would have reminded Rudy of Mother Russia.
Nureyev, though, would never have been able to afford the overwhelming luxe of these clothes. Aside from the astrakhan and ponyskin in coats, jackets, and cardigans, there was nutria fur galore, in everything from a duffel coat to a bomber jacket to a pair of mittens. The Mitteleuropa glamour extended to cashmere coats, a loden green military-styled jacket, an Austro-Hungarian braided pea coat over velvet trousers with a tuxedo stripe, and an infinitely desirable old gold raincoat.
The show also featured some spectacularly overt product placement, with an LV cashmere travel blanket casually draped round the shoulders of a cable-knit mohair sweater. But nothing could beat the glorious carpetbags, which dwarfed the young men toting them.