First impression of Louis Vuitton: confusion. As editors and VIPs scrambled to take their seats in the dark, security guards in the courtyard of the Louvre were shouting, "Vite! Vite!" and maneuvering people through the doors (punctuality is the thing at this house these days). Meanwhile, models in giant Afro wigs were already trotting past several empty front-row seats. What was the look? Another calculated mix-up Jacobs later summarized as being "about travelers—the movement that came after punk. Then we were thinking about hiking, trekking, and then denim and parkas—city utilitarianism."
What did that actually mean? At first sight, Japanese by way of early Galliano, though it was hard to find a definitive label for the sporty, couture-ish, military, metallic, glittery layering going on. There were brocade cycling shorts, pleated kilt-cum-belts, army-pocketed jackets, neon and nude camouflage slipdresses, and LV-stamped ombré-dyed denim looks with fringed edges. Tubular sport drawstrings were used as cross-lacing up the sides of leggings and later got chopped up and applied to body dresses in swagged appliqués vaguely reminiscent of Native American jewelry. Among the sport mesh and draping in the abbreviated prom-meets-tennis dresses, there was a flash of a brilliant green pailletted number that seemed to link back to the army subtheme (though it hardly matters where it came from, it was so cute).
Apart from that, though, there was less of the sugar-coated overt luxe of the last Vuitton collection. In fact, all the action was in the super-young accessories. Toggles, tassels, and fur tails dingle-dangled off squashy backpacks and satchels, while head-turning suede peg-heeled clogs (the season's funniest take on the resurgent kitten heel) sprouted fur patches and hardware. When Jacobs took his bow, he was wearing a pair of them himself.