Marc Jacobs's helm at Louis Vuitton seems many moons ago, and yet the designer's final outing at the French luxury brand in 2013 remains etched in my mind. A black symphony of 42 looks, at once sombre and melancholic yet utterly joyful, Jacobs's S/S 14 collection for the house was a love letter to showgirls, to showmanship, and unbeknownst to show-goers (although they had their suspicions), it was a parting love letter to Jacobs's time at Louis Vuitton.
A train station clock rang 10am and proceeded to tick backwards as model Edie Campbell opened proceedings naked but for a g-string whilst peacocking in a feathered Stephen Jones head-dress. A nod to the covetable Stephen Sprouse collaborations forged by Jacobs at Vuitton, the artist's graffiti-style handwriting scribbled 'Louis Vuitton' and 'Paris' in an inky blue across Campbell's body. Models padded out after her onto a Mongolian lamb fur carpeted floor as orchestral music played out over beating drums. Dressed in black and wearing various renditions of Jones's regal millinery creations, models walked in a mourning procession, this was a parting farewell. Round the central fountain, up in the lifts, along the hotel corridor and down the double escalators to a horse carousel, models took show-goers back in time to some of Jacobs's most notable show sets from across his Vuitton reign. All at once, the show felt powerful and sexy, modern and joyful. S/S 14 was dedicated 'To the showgirl in all of us', with Jacobs noting Jane Birkin, Sofia Coppola, Catherine Deneuve, Miuccia Prada, Coco Chanel, Cher and Grace Coddington as just a few of his own personal go-to showgirls. This was more about the show and less about the clothes, yet despite this, a cropped miltary-esque jacket encrusted with black crystal beading and paired with low rise bleached jeans is what I remember most clearly. Jacobs's perfect balance of excess and the ordinary- it's helped me to get dressed ever since.
This past September, as Jacobs skipped across the front row at the Park Avenue Armory for his namesake label's S/S 20 womenswear show, I thought of a younger, suited up Jacobs taking what was his final, rather timid bow at Vuitton in Paris. Fast-forward nearly six years to New York. Dressed to the nines in red platform Rick Owens boots, a pink Chanel tweed jacket and blue jeans rolled up to reveal canary yellow socks, Jacobs is serenading the front row with The Mamas & The Papas's 'Dream A Little Dream Of Me'. I can't help feeling that despite some bumps in the road since leaving Louis Vuitton, Jacobs has come up smiling. There's hope for a sparkling decade to come.