If there was any doubt left in the collective fashion mind that Marc Jacobs plans to leave the Louis Vuitton brand to focus on his signature label it looks as if the designer put them to rest with the set of his spring/summer 2014 show. The backdrop to the collection was a compilation of all of the most memorable sets of his past presentations.
From the chamber maids dusting the steps into the venue to the merry go round, garden fountain, train clock, escalators and wrought iron elevators - all of it surrounded by a series of hotel room doors - this venue was like a trip down memory lane of collections past. A “best of” medley if ever there was one. All of it dipped in pitch black.
And that is not where the nostalgia ended. In his show notes Jacobs dedicated the collection to the women who inspire him and the showgirl in every one of them. And then he proceeded to name check them all (in PC alphabetical order). 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, Francoise Hardy, Zizi Jeanmaire, Rei Kawakubo, Madonna, Liza Minnelli, Kate Moss, Louis Nevelson, Edith Piaf, Miuccia Prada, Lee Radziwill, Millicent Rogers, Sonia Rykiel, Carla Sozzani, Elsa Schiaparelli, Barbara Streisand, Diana Vreeland, Vivienne Westwood and Anna Wintour.
There were quite a few of those women sitting in the front row of this Louis Vuitton show. And for those that weren’t their influence could be felt in one way or another in this collection.
The models, each of them wearing an impressive black peacock feather headdress bold enough to be worn by a Bluebell girl, came out in one show stopping feather, lace and sequined piece after another. Some outfits looked ready for the chorus line at the Crazy Horse. Besides the model whose entire body was painted in the famed Stephen Sprouse Louis Vuitton lettering, in glittering black, there were also fish net stockings in the same motif, sheer tulle bodysuits with strategically placed ruffles, and see though leggings adorned with a peacock motif crafted from jet black beading.
As Jacobs is an appropriator and reimaginator of styles he admires from other designers: hawk eye editors could spot a bit of Schiaparelli surrealism in all the sprouting peacock feathers, Kawakubo in the voluminous bow and ruffled embellished military jackets, and Prada peeking out from the fur shift dresses with the sheer beaded latticework torsos.
But it’s going to be the uber cool patchwork pants, and those in denim with curving sheer inserts at the back - that revealed the crack - which are going to fly out of stores next season. As will the beautifully embossed leather perfecto jackets and embellished biker boots.
This black on black show bodes the question, will the fashion world soon be in morning for the Louis Vuitton that once was?