25th July 2012
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Location LOCATION: Shanghai

Kate Sylvester Dress / Samantha Wills Earrings / Louis Vuitton Clutch / Vintage Belt / Thrifted Heels

The second chapter to my Shanghai trip with Louis Vuitton entailed the recreation of the Louis Vuitton AW 12/13 Paris show in all of its extravagance at the iconic Bund along Shanghai’s waterfront. This was the first time in Louis Vuitton history the French fashion house decided to recreate its Paris show and you could tell by the excitement in the room that everyone knew we were in for a spectacular night. We quickly went inside to find our seats and watched as the clock ticked closer and closer to 9pm, the time when the Louis Vuitton Express Train would pull into the station from its long journey from Paris and the show would quickly begin..

Bustling footsteps and faint murmurs echoed through the hall as Louis Vuitton had created a unique soundtrack to replicate exactly what a train station would sound like. When the clocked chimed at 9pm, a loud train whistle erupted, the stage doors opened and smoke started to billow onto the stage. Slowly but surely it appeared – the LV Express Train, a fully-functioning, hand-made steam engine carrying its precious Parisian cargo. Models one by one made their way out of the train accompanied by real life accessories; porters carrying LV luggage as they escorted them down the runway. The AW collection is as magical as the show itself. Tinsel is woven to resemble sparking tweed, Kangaroo leather is patch-worked and bejewelled, and brocades and jacquards are further embroidered and appliqued with hologram colorforms and laser etched plastic stones. I can’t even fathom how much time, effort and money would go into creating a show on such a grand scale but to witness its magnificence first hand was breathtaking.

After the show guests were invited to board the train to experience first hand what it felt like to travel with Louis Vuitton. Every minute detail of a train was replicated so it was easy to feel like we had stepped back in time and were aboard a train traveling through a scenic countryside. This Kate Sylvester dress was perfect for the occasion and inspired me to channel some 1940′s old Hollywood glamor with wavy hair and a bold red lip. A special thank you to Alix for taking these photos of me too!

After the show we walked out to find Louis Vuitton had somehow transformed a large hall into what looked like the inside of a train. Where plain walls should have been there stood brown curved walls with cream trimming and perfectly placed windows. It was as if we were standing in a larger than life sized train carriage with hundreds of people. A train carriage with a small stage inside it where Lana Del Rey surprised everyone with a special performance and where the dance floor would later begin.

For someone who listens to Lana all day, every day, it was easily one of the most surreal experiences of the entire trip and I was so overcome with emotion I had to hold back tears. I’m assuming these were tears of joy mixed with the thought of this situation possibly never happening again. I probably shouldn’t have told you that and others will think I’m exaggerating but this was one of the few moments in my life I couldn’t believe what was happening right before me, and one I’ll cherish forever.

Usually I don’t post photos like this but it wouldn’t be a complete post if I didn’t share the after party, especially as Louis Vuitton sure knows how to throw the best ones! Luckily I gave my little point and shoot camera to Alexandra for the night so she could take photos. I always tend to forget as I’m too busy pulling weird and unattractive faces and usually ruining every photo. An unexplainable thank you to Louis Vuitton for taking me (and you!) along for this magical ride to Shanghai.

Photos by Alexandra Spencer and me