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Has fashion lost its sex appeal?

Has fashion lost its sex appeal?

As is customary, the Louis Vuitton presentation was the last of the seasonal runway shows in Paris. The global brand presented its fall 2018 collection at the Louvre with guests entering through the I.M. Pei glass pyramid and proceeding through the museum's stone interior. Locations in the city do not get more rarefied and dramatic than that.

For this show, the models walked around an expansive open courtyard that was once a stable. A clear tent had been pitched overhead but the space was not fully enclosed, and just as the spotlights came up, it began to rain, which lent a certain urgency to the proceedings. The models walked down a wide ramp and onto what could have been the deck of a space ship. There were fun cropped jackets and spangly skirts but they were a significant distance from the nearest seat. The result was that one took in the spectacle, the showmanship, but not the construction of the clothes or the details in them.

When the show ended, designer Nicolas Ghesquiére trotted down the ramp to take his bows. The audience was dispatched into the night and into the pouring rain. The whole experience felt efficient and organised, but vaguely sterile. Which garment made one feel desire? Which frock sparked passion? Where was the heat?

In the pantheon of runway shows, Vuitton's was not over-the-top. But in the scope of the current season, it was the closest any brand came to setting off fireworks. While Paris is known for the creativity of designers and their delight in presenting their work in a dynamic environment, intimacy has been the byword in the fashion trade this season. Intimacy. Not sexy. Not hot. Not passionate.

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