Runway

Paris Spring 2014: Louis Vuitton

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(PARIS) Louis Vuitton
He’s moving on! Marc Jacobs has finally confirmed to WWD that he’s leaving Louis Vuitton to focus on growing the Marc Jacobs brand. The fashion funeral we witnessed today chez Vuitton told us that. It was indeed a compilation of Marc’s greatest hits as we predicted, but done all in black. Memories of shows past flooded guests as they ascended a pink staircase complete with French maids dusting away as they entered the show. 

Upon entering the venue, the show’s all black theme was apparent. Set designs from previous shows—like a giant carrousel—took center stage. And this time around, the white horses had been painted black. Lush fur carpeting blanketed the floor and a huge fountain at the back was flanked by wrought iron elevators in the middle and two escalators at the entrance. The clock ominously ticked away as the show began promptly at 10 a.m., models perched on horses as the carousel slowly began to spin. But there was a sense of optimism in the currents of cabaret that ran through the show. Descending the runway first was a saucy siren painted in grafitti just like Jacobs’ iconic Stephen Sprouse Vuitton bags, wearing just about nothing save for a pair of handcuffs that connected strands of beading in the back. The message there doesn’t need much explanation. What followed were a series of Folies Bergère girls that rode up and down elevators and escalators decked in giant black feathered headdresses—ornamentation typically reserved for war time and ceremonies. Symbolic much?

Everything was sequined. Why? The show notes explained that the sparkle factor is how Marc thinks of Paris. “It isn’t the depth of the city that takes my breath away,” he said. “It’s about the decoration and applied ornamentation that dazzles.” In fact, the only pieces that weren’t black and sequined were boyfriend jeans, layered under sheer dresses or cropped evening jackets. Jacobs was thinking of “esoteric and extroverted” women, of which the show notes included a long list of female inspiration from Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele and Anna Wintour to Lady Gaga and Cher; “To the showgirl in all of us,” he concluded. 

Attached to the run of show was a long list of thank you’s to 172 people and on the last page it read, “For Robert Duffy and Bernard Arnault, All my love, Always.” It was an emotional send off and one that was collectively felt around the room. “I thought it was very moving,” said Hamish Bowles. “I loved the perversity of an all black collection for Spring and it was a triumph of incredible techniques.” Giovanna Battaglia echoed that sentiment. “It was so emotional seeing all of those memories in one room: the clothes, the set, everything,” Battaglia told The Daily. “But he’s going to have a rebirth.” We have no doubt. This wasn’t just a finale or an ornately grand show, it was a moment in fashion history.

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