With all the pomp and showmanship of last season's locomotive set, Louis Vuitton cast itself a hard act to follow for Spring Summer 2013, but from the outset it was clear the fashion house was moving on, using only a set of escalators to deliver a more minimal yet high impact fashion collection.
And as models descended onto the runway in pairs, it became apparent that this was a show as much about new consumerism as it was about fashion. Gone was the Louis Vuitton iconic Monogram and in its place was the Damier pattern - a powerful, square grid design which featured in green, yellow and tan checks. Textures were expertly woven in with sheer panels and interlocking grids, while the silhouette remained a 'strict perpendicular block' throughout.
Breaking up the grid system was the gentle scattering of floral leaf prints which added an organic contrast to a robustly non organic aesthetic. And, in keeping with the quiet tenacity of the collection, embellishment made its statement through understatement, using 1000s of tiny sequins to create 'fluid metallic surfaces'.
With so many brands, personalities and collections fighting to be heard in the Paris Fashion Week furore, Louis Vuitton was the show that silently roared.
By Tara Gardner