Marc Jacobs Left Some Really Big Shoes to Fill at Louis Vuitton
Now that Nicolas Ghesquière has, quite successfully, made a clean start as the creative director of Louis Vuitton, we're looking forward to his second collection with great anticipation. But, before the Spring 2015 offering goes down the runway, we're taking a glance back at the masterful designs of Ghesquière's predecessor, Marc Jacobs. During his 16-year tenure at the house, Jacobs established himself as one of the most talented designers in the world. He even won our annual reader poll to name the most popular designer of the year in 2013. And it's with good reason: the man is just good at what he does.
But, after taking his final bow and saluting his era-defining stint at Vuitton, he left big shoes to fill. After all, while at Vuitton, Jacobs marched models out of an old-style locomotive, spun them around a merry-go-round, and sent them down the runway in nurse whites, giving us many highlights to look back on long after he's gone. Herein, our favorite moments from Jacobs's Louis Vuitton runways, and a touch of Nicolas Ghesquière, too.
With models like Freja Beha Erichsen opening the show and Maggie Rizer walking exclusively, the new Louis Vuitton girl was all about a fit-and-flare A-line silhouette with sharp minis topped with sleek leather jackets and cropped boxy knits.
Evening featured plunging v-neck dresses with mixed fabrics that were clearly destined for the red carpet.
As for the bags, it was also the dawn of a new era for the famous Louis Vuitton bags with the Speedy getting a removable canvas cover. Smaller bags were out in full force with a miniature luggage trunk shape that's a clear nod to the company's beginnings as a custom trunk maker in the 19th century.
The runway went black for Jacobs's swan song. Bidding farewell to Paris and his 16-year tenure, Jacobs dedicated his final Vuitton collection to the women who inspire him and "the showgirl in every one of them."
Pajama dressing's never looked so chic as this boudoir. Entering and exiting through hotel doors, models layered sultry silk with rich velvet and plush fur — which often came with a bag to match.
It was checkmate at Vuitton's Spring 2013 show when sets of models strolled down the escalator onto the graphic yellow and white runway.
Next stop, fashion! Models disembarked a vintage-style train in opulent brocade styles befitting the sort of wearer who would require a porter to tote her Louis Vuitton purse.
Around Jacobs went, as he did an about-face from kink for the sweetest of turns. Riding in on a white carousel, Vuitton's Spring 2012 lineup was a satisfyingly saccharine parade of flowers, pastels, and whimsy.
Kate Moss provocatively waved her cigarette in the air as she exited the elaborate set of the fetish-driven collection of latex and corsets, pencil skirts, and button-ups just waiting to be unbuttoned.
It's a jungle out there! The exotic designs of Jacobs's Asian adventure extended from head to toe when giraffe and zebra heels punctuated the collection. The guest of honor: a tiger that escorted the man of the hour down the runway.
A Louis Vuitton show is often very much about the models but never more so than at the label's Fall 2010 show. The ladylike emphasis of the collection was driven home by a bevy of Victoria's Secret Angels and models with (gasp!) curves.
There were Afros, tribal jewels, furry pink shoes (and bags!), monogrammed denim, and bows. Confused? It wasn't too hard to be! To summarize, Jacobs said this show was about "travelers."
Those boots! Those ears! Those waistlines! The inspiration for Jacobs's Fall 2009 runway was quite simple: French muses — a fitting choice for the designer thinking ahead to that year's Model as Muse Met exhibition.
Throwing opulence in the face of economic hard times, the grand Parisian collection was rich in embellishment, fabrication, and jewels.
Taking a sharp turn (or rather swirl), Jacobs went as minimalist as you could describe a collection topped with conical black fascinators. The muted pastel palette let the architectural focus of the pleated, ballooning, and ruffled collection speak volumes.
Paging Nurse Campbell! Only Jacobs could make the much-beleaguered nurse's white-stockings-and-flats combo look chic. After Vuitton's hospital staff entrance opened the show, the Richard Prince collaboration marched on with spray-painted totes and a palette inspired by SpongeBob SquarePants.
The bags that drew instant comparison to a similar New York staple encapsulated the overall high-meets-low aesthetic of Louis Vuitton's eclectic vibe, which blended the witty aforementioned totes with pretty Victorian inspiration.