Behind the scenes, Marc Jacobsnow in his tenth year at Louis Vuittonhad a knowing tag for the season: He called it "Girl with a Monogram Handbag." So there it was, as a mathematical equation: Scarlett Johansson (she of Girl with a Pearl Earring and the Louis Vuitton ad campaign, sitting front row) + Vermeer (research trip to Holland) = Fall 2007 collection. And yet, not quite. At the end of the show, which also featured a plethora of references to Jacobs' previous LV outings, all he would declare was, "Clothes, and more clothes!" and then, more reluctantly, "A Vermeer palette. Romantic, graphic, painterly, but kind of strong."
In fact, there's no urgent need to Google "Dutch Masters" to get a fix on the fact that this Fall collection was actually a mustering of sportswear pieces as a foil for a huge range of Vuitton accessorieseverything from big, floppy Flemish berets to tinted patent and shearling bags, brushed-gilt plate-metal buckled belts and shiny little shoe-boots. First off, the clothes were simply a matter of high-necked dark green, gray, and fluffy orange sweaters, color-blocked against copper, bronze, blue, and red lamé skirts. Then came leather circle skirts with loose-backed jackets falling in a curve at the back, and a great oversize blue-gray sweater over slim pants.
That section moved into black and navy tailoring, the best examples being neat pencil skirts with menswear pocket flaps, and eventually into grown-up chic suits (including a couple with pieces of densely tufted tulle and crochet whacked on the shoulder to puff things up) and black dresses. For evening, it was a matter of dégradé printed dresses, some sprouting ostrich feathers under the hem. In other words, the show felt a bit all over the place. But never mind: A lot of the women in the audience declared that, once the elements are merchandised for stores, they'll be going shopping.