Marc Jacobs Tops the Kilt
After Marc Jacobs’ busting out all over presentation for Louis Vuitton yesterday, it seems that bosoms are back. The show, which again began precisely on time, created one of those awkward, exhilarating fashion moments where as soon as everyone stood up to leave, most of the front row suddenly looked like they needed an update. With all the veritage gowns Louis Vuitton showed, Pixie Geldof actually pouted for most of the show, while Daisy Lowe placed a strategic hand over her knees to cover up. Japan Vogue‘s Anna Dello Russo wore long, but then she’s an editor with a lot of experience and no doubt was privy to pre-show info. To prove he means business, Marc Jacobs came out dressed in an almost baggy, banker’s grey suit and tie that was somehow much more shocking than the kilt he was sporting last season.
Times are tough and Jacobs’s LV show feels like an attempt to return to reassuring core values, the kind we had in the 1950s; specifically 1956 when Roger Vadim turned Brigitte Bardot into a star for the film And God Created Women. The only problem with the reference is that Brigitte spent most of the film taking her clothes off and pushing up her skirts; this wasn’t exactly an ode to mid-calf, amplitude and bustiness. After the show I thought of Summertime starring Katharine Hepburn as a middle-aged woman from Akron on vacation in Venice… but I guess Marc Jacobs knows better than to base fashion on realist cinema. In any case it was nice to have the girls back and I mean that in more ways than one. Laetitia Casta and Elle Macpherson made rare runway appearances and one hopes that they, and more of their womanly kind, will be back to inspire us all next season.
LOUIS VUITTON, LOOK 1. HERMES, LOOK 10.
Jacobs is a butterfly and he flits from one moment to another each seson. It’s all brilliant and now, and fine for the next week. But this was a recession-minded show without a real commitment to long-term investment, even by fashion’s fleeting standards.
Which brings me to Hermès, a bourgeois brand since day one, with Jean Paul Gaultier, France’s former bad boy of fashion, at the design helm. It’s hard to get excited about menswear on women even if it’s Emma Peel of The Avengers in a catsuit and bowler. Saville road tailoring filtered through the Hermès luxury mill and tweaked by JPG is alluring, but I couldn’t stop thinking: where are the breasts? That said, take away all the banker’s props and there were some great minimalist coats here. Phoebe Philo of Céline and the other recent converts to the “less is more fashion utopia might have a look at Gaultier’s impeccable sense of shape and Hermès’ unparalleled workmanship.