18 Nov Marc Jacobs, the rock star of fashion
Marc Jacobs leaves Louis Vuitton after 16 years as creative director, it is official news that the new creative director of maison will be Nicolas Ghesquière.
The last memorable fashion show of the designer as creative director of Louis Vuitton is staged at Louvre Museum in Paris. On entering the show space, guests were told they were about to attend “a celebration, not a retrospective”, but this was hard to believe. The extravagant display included all the highlights of the designer’s previous catwalk shows, but in a monochromatic version: a nightmarish carousel with inky horses, a dark fountain, moving lift shaft and escalators and lambskin carpeting in the house’s damier check. “We went back and used all the different bits of the sets of the past and made them black,” Jacobs explained backstage.
This was a show about emotion, not clothes. When the huge train station clock which hung at the back of the catwalk started ticking backwards, the music rose and the first model appear, wearing only a sheer bodystocking decorated with the famous Stephen Sprouse graffiti for the label and a 5-foot-tall feather headpieces that echoed Native American themes.
After this dramatic overture everything went black: for each piece of clothing of the 41 designs that followed, no other color was showcased, the only exception being some 1940s baggy blue jeans.
Different decades were quoted: the white, severe hair and make-up was almost Victorian, while the tunic dresses, demure in their floor-length and crew neck, evoked the 1920s. But this Dickensian scenery was strangely but perfectly offset by eighties-inspired pieces such as short, boxy blazers, embroidered stockings, tough boots and biker jackets. Each garment was rich in details, with micro nets, polka dots, feathers, sequins and diamantes juxtaposed to create layers.
Marc Jacob’s goodbye to Louis Vuitton was also a love letter to Paris, as he explained: “Black to me is the color of the chicest women in Paris, it’s Juliette Gréco, it’s Françoise Hardy, it’s Édith Piaf in a little black dress, it’s the left bank of Paris. It seemed like the chicest way to show all these dazzling textures”.
The show notes were dedicated to all the women who inspire Jacobs and rather dramatically to “the showgirl in all of us”. One of his muses, U.S. Vogue editor Anna Wintour, gave Jacobs an ovation: “Fashion needs rock stars, and they don’t come any starrier than Marc at Louis Vuitton,” she told “He has always understood that it is a house about travel, and every season he has taken us on incredible journeys with his spectacular shows”.
We don’t know where this journey will take Marc Jacobs, but no matter where he lands, we’re sure he’ll keep making us dream, as he has done until now.