Fashion is always changing. The history of fashion is a history of changes in colours, shapes or campaigns. Amid all this chaos there has always been one constant in the last few decades, namely that its epicentre has been the West. However, it seems even this constant could fall victim to change.
With Valentino being sold to the Qatar royal family for £556 million and the front rows at this years Paris Fashion Week being sprinkled with Asian investors, whispers of fashion moving East are echoing around the West.
Even Louis Vuitton, one of the world’s leading fashion houses, has succumbed to the Eastern promise. Louis Vuitton shocked Paris Fashion Week when designer Marc Jacobs steamed the models on to the catwalk abroad an £8 million train in a show that celebrated the art of travel. A rather brave move considering some of the fashion world were still in shock from their nine hour delay on the Eurostar!
After reminding Paris to see beauty not just in the destination, but also the journey, the Louis Vuitton Express has come all the way to Shanghai and rolled into their show on 19th July. This was in celebration of the brand opening its first Maison in Shanghai’s desirable Plaza 66 on 21st July.
The show celebrated the romantic golden age of train travel. When passengers dressed beautifully and weighed down trailing porters with their leather luggage. Louis Vuitton showed Shanghai a ghostly silhouette of another time. One that seems even more faint viewed from these distant lands.
Louis Vuitton transported a photographer known as ‘the Selby’ to document the trip from Paris to Shanghai with videos, photos and paintings.
This creative partnership records the transcontinental journey from Europe to Asia with a short film clip from each of the twelve days of the journey to build up anticipation for their arrival in Shanghai. The Selby is filmed leaning out of windows photographing cities, passing trains and deserts at dawn, always conveniently surrounded by piles of Louis Vuitton trunks containing his art materials.
The success of the Shanghai show has left people questioning; who else will follow in Louis Vuitton’s tracks from West to East?