Marc Jacobs Bids Farewell to Louis Vuitton With an Arresting Swan Song
We hate to see him go, but love to watch him leave.
After a storied 16-year tenure helming Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs is leaving the French house to concentrate on his eponymous label. In his signature fashion, Jacobs went out with a bang, putting on a show that was essentially an unorthodox, albeit splendid funeral march.
The swan song setting was characterized by pitch-black everything and was a revisit to some of Vuitton’s most notorious stagings with a water fountain, fairground carousel, escalators, and even last season’s hotel doors. An old-fashion clock set at four minutes past 10, an allusion to Jacobs’ journey to punctuality, ticked loudly until showtime. Despite the dark milieu, the show was a celebration of all the women who has inspired him, in his words, his showgirls. His show notes were a love letter that read:
“This collection is dedicated to the women who inspire me and to the showgirl in every one of them, Emmanuelle Alt, Jane Birkin, Betty Catroux, Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele, Coco Chanel, Cher, Grace Coddington, Sofia Coppola, Victoire de Castellane, Catherine Deneuve, Claude Lalanne, Julie de Libran, Lady Gaga, Judy Garland, Katie Grand, Juliette Gréco, Françoise Hardy, Zizi Jeanmaire, Rei Kawakubo, Madonna, Liza Minnelli, Kate Moss, Louise Nevelson, Edith Piaf, Miuccia Prada, Lee Radziwill, Millicent Rogers, Sonia Rykiel, Carla Sozzani, Elsa Schiaparelli, Barbra Streisand, Diana Vreeland, Vivienne Westwood, Anna Wintour. Whether extrovert or esoteric, they are the figures that keep visual language vital. Their style, imagination, creativity, talent, vision and voice have changed our landscape.
When I look around Paris it isn’t the depth of the city that takes my breath away. It’s the decoration and the applied ornamentation that dazzles. It is not about thinking, it is about feeling. There may be no deeper sensation than this when it hits. While designing this collection the same instinct gathered momentum. I take pleasure from things for exactly what they are, revelling in the pure adornment of beauty for beauty’s sake. Connecting with something on a superficial level is as honest as connecting with it on an intellectual level.
To the showgirl in all of us. Marc. ”
As for the collection, Edie Campbell opened the show in theatrical fashion, slinking down the catwalk in a filmy bodysuit emblazoned with Stephen Sprouse’s graffiti logo. All of the models followed suit, each peacocking in tall feathered headresses — a tribute to Cher no doubt — and jet black menswear-inspired designs that boasted some ravishing, heavy-handed embellishment. From the razor-sharp tuxedos and gowns, to the boxy football tops, each piece was meticulously bejewled and feathered. The only pops of color could be seen in the jeans, which were equal parts ornamental and distressed. A re-imagined take on an American classic? That’s just how we’d expect the designer to leave his Marc.
Despite the inherit somberness, Jacobs was met with cheers, rounds of applause, and a standing ovation during his final bow. We’d say it’s the end of an era, but that would be too much of an understatement.
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