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The grandiose twilight of Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton

Designer Marc Jacobs at the presentation of Louis Vuitton's spring-summer 2014 collection in Paris on October 2, 2013.

Guests were asked to arrive at 9:40 a.m. for a show scheduled for 10 a.m. sharp on October 2, 2013. Since wearing down the patience of reporters by starting a show two hours late, Marc Jacobs has been at sticking to punctuality. As they walk towards the Cour Carrée du Louvre, where the tent for the Louis Vuitton fashion show has been erected, the public does not yet know that they will be witnessing an end clap worthy of an American blockbuster.

There are many rumors that have been circulating for a few months about the non-renewal of the contract of the American who arrived at Vuitton in 1997, but the fuse has not been sold. Doubt sets in among the guests discovering the decor. Many of the scenographic elements from his previous fashion shows have been installed: the fountain, the elevators, the station clock, the hotel corridors and the horse carousel – they are all there, recalling the designer’s extraordinary sense of showmanship. , but, this time, everything has been lacquered in black.

On the seats, the note of intent explains that this collection is dedicated to all the women who inspire it: from Emmanuelle Alt to Anna Wintour, via Coco Chanel, Rei Kawakubo, Claude Lalanne and Louise Nevelson or Miuccia Prada.

“We needed black”

The clock strikes ten, the hand moves backwards: the countdown begins. Model Edie Campbell steps onto a gigantic Mongolian lambskin rug – also black – acting as a catwalk, dressed simply in a jeweled thong, her naked body, entirely painted with Stephen Sprouse’s famous graffiti created for Louis Vuitton – a “brush stroke” operation that required no less than seven hours of work.

Model Edie Campbell at the Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2014 show in Paris on October 2, 2013.

Edie Campbell poses in front of the fountain with her arms raised, handcuffs attached to stylized chains. A simple nod to the 2011 Fétiche collection by Marc Jacobs for the trunk maker, or a parable of the designer who frees himself from his chains? “We are beginning to understand that it is a swan song. There was a funeral side to Vegas, I found it sad, ” remembers journalist Loïc Prigent.

Read also Marc Jacobs: “Staging fashion shows makes me happy”

Set to music by Philip Glass, silhouettes worthy of haute couture follow one another, also black, with touches of navy blue. All is opulence and embellishment. Leather dresses, tops, jackets and blousons are covered in jet beads, sequins and embroidered ribbons. Luxurious black lace blouses are worn over jeans. It was Katie Grand, close to the designer, who handled the styling. “It needed black to do justice to all this beauty. It was a sublime parade of clothes,” wrote at the time the fashion critic of the New York Times, Cathy Horyn.

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