If many of the designers today are obsessed with modernity and being forward – How do we manipulate existing fabrics to achieve that futuristic look and texture? What will appeal to today’s woman who spends more time in the boardroom than at home? – then Marc Jacobs of Louis Vuitton is looking backward, and seeking inspiration from the past.

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Through vast improvements in locomotive technology, commuting by rail in our modern age has been reduced to the speed at which you arrive at your destination, simply a means to an end. Save for the private, luxurious Orient Express, much of rail travel has lost its glamour and sparkle, the ability of the journey onboard to be an event in itself.

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For Fall Winter 2012, Marc Jacobs went all out to bring that golden age back for Louis Vuitton. And he showed just how incredibly serious he was about it by commissioning an old-fashioned train car to be built from scratch, complete with a steam engine. As the models disembarked, each one was accompanied by a porter, leaving them them to march forward in all their travel finery.

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The first thing you notice about everything – the clothes, the accessories, the proportions – is how larger-than-life they are. From the giant squashed hats by milliner Stephen Jones, the oversized coat-dresses, the giant baubles for buttons to the bags in myriad sizes and textures, everything demanded your full attention to capture all that detail! The bags came in a delicious array of different leather – from patent to ostrich – feather, heavily embellished with crystals, in rich pops of colour.

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What I love so much about Marc Jacobs, the man, is that when he sets his heart on something, he pours his soul into it, holding nothing back, whisking everyone up into his beautiful, magical fantasies. I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely been sold into the idea of luxury travel by rail – Louis Vuitton style!

Images: Louis Vuitton