The moment you walked in, you knew. This would most certainly be Marc Jacobs’s final show for Louis Vuitton, where he has been creative director for the past 16 years.
The telltale signs? The set was a venerable greatest hits from his past shows—the carousel from Spring 2012, the elevator from Fall 2011, the hotel rooms from Fall 2013, the escalator from Spring 2013—except that this time, they were all lacquered in black, with fur and marble lining different parts of the floor.
To celebrate the culmination of his work at Vuitton, where he transformed a luggage company into one of the world’s most valuable luxury brands, Jacobs dedicated his final collection to “the women who inspire me and to the show girl in every one of them.” Front row and seated together were Sofia Coppola, Grace Coddington, Anna Wintour, Emmanuelle Alt and Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele. He also named Cher, Lady Gaga, Judy Garland, Katie Grand, Kate Moss, Francoise Hardy, Jane Birkin, Edith Piaf, Miuccia Prada and Diana Vreeland, amongst others, as forever muses. “Whether extrovert or esoteric, they are the figures that keep visual language vital,” he said in the show notes. “Their style, imagination, creativity, talent, vision and voice have changed our landscape.”
Edie Campbell opened the show, wearing a sheer bodysuit covered in Stephen Sprouse’s Louis Vuitton logo. She, like the other models, had on an expansive black headdress, reminiscent of the one Cher wore to the 1986 Oscars. The series of 40 looks expanded on the Victorian ideas that Jacobs first referenced in his New York show. The look was extravagant, but grounded in Jacobs’ slightly perverse view of fashion. His work is significant because it’s designed to make the viewer just a bit uncomfortable—like all good clothes, it makes you think.
Nearly everything was black, with a bit of navy added in, and most dresses were embellished at the shoulders with jet beading and embroidery. There was a bit of punk, too: a sheer embroidered crop top—which was essentially the collar part of a Victorian blouse—was worn with straight-leg, cuffed stonewash jeans embellished at the pockets. Black jeans, worn with an embellished leather motorcycle jacket, boasted a few pocket chains. And a set of short black velvet dresses were given fishnet insets at the waist, ornately embroidered where the sheer met the velvet.
Jacobs is known for distributing very sparse notes to the audience that typically describe each look in one or two words. But if you read ‘til the end of this season’s, you would see a love letter written to Robert Duffy, Jacobs’ longtime business partner and CEO, and Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH. It said:
For Robert Duffy and Bernard Arnault
All my love,
Always. What a joy it was to see this show, and to see many of the shows that came before it.