Maker’s Mark

Published February 15, 2012

Lest anyone forget there was a time before a certain American in Paris let Stephen Sprouse, Richard Prince, and Takashi Murakami have their way with the “LV” monogram, the exhibition “Louis Vuitton—Marc Jacobs” opens at Les Arts Decoratifs on March 9. “It tells the parallel stories of two men, the founder, Louis, and the first artistic director, Marc, who came to Louis Vuitton 143 years later,” says curator Pamela Golbin of the binary show. “The goal is to offer a comprehensive view on what each brought to the fashion vocabulary.” One floor contains more than 50 of Jacobs’s most iconic runway looks, while another includes examples of massive crinoline dresses from the 1860s—the era before designers signed their creations—alongside original trunks crafted by a packager with the soon-to-be-iconic initials LV. Ironically—considering all of the attempts to copy from the master—Louis Vuitton originally patented the “Damier Canvas” in 1888 to preempt counterfeiting.