So I must be a complete and utter twit to have missed reviewing this epic collection by Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton. Reasons why escape me but it might have something to do with creating moodboards using the very same images so I ~thought~ I had already written about the dreamy aesthetic featuring pastels and tiaras when in fact I hadn't. Let me remedy this now by speaking at length about the spectacle set up in none other than the Louvre's Cour Carrée, with models disembarking from an enormous carousel before making their way down the runway. In contrast to the previous Fall, Jacobs stated that "we wanted something gentle and kind, fragile but strong, too," and I can safely say that they delivered. The chaste white and floral motifs were made sweeter by the adornment of tiaras, doe eyed stares and slightly Barbie-like poses of the models. The last comparison was made largely due to the slightly awkward positioning of limbs and eyes so focused they could fire lasers into the crowd.
In the grand scheme of things the 1960s inspired power suits and pea coats seemed inconsequential to the narrative as a whole and highly underrated by the critiques, but I really admire the workmanship on them. Combined with the pastel colours chosen for the collection the garments themselves seem to evoke a young Peg from Edward Scissorhands, bright-eyed and selling Avon cosmetics to her small town community. This works for me on several levels: for one thing (and you'll know this if you are familiar with my personal style) I adore meticulous detail on collars. When something reminds me of Miuccia Prada's epitomes 2010 Spring collection I quite literally froth at the mouth thinking of naked ladies on collars and simple renditions of kitty cats. But what Marc Jacobs has created here is a softer, more romantic interpretation of a collar reminiscent of 1950s style dinners, high ponytails and young girls chewing bubblegum. I am totally OK with all those things but what I am concerned with is this aesthetic obscuring the view that women are complex, women are strong and multi-faceted. Maybe I am expecting too much from a brand to deliver on so many intellectual levels but I think more than a mission statement from the designer is needed in order to covey that their ideas are compatible with the 21st century.
When I was still a wee bub in high school, I was very keen on embroidery. This is partly because many of the subjects I did were disciplines of science so when I had the chance to create something with my own two hands I felt liberated and utterly free. But there was still the same element of repetition or patterns which my brain response to so I was able to experience creativity in a very controlled environment. We don't see enough embroidery in mainstream channels such as Vogue or at the mall these days because it's too time consuming to be a part of a viable business model in the long run. I own one skirt that has the same sort of floral motifs and stitched patterns as these Louis Vuitton dresses and I utterly cherish it because I know how special it is. Mostly I am fascinated with fashion and personal style because I have a sense that individuality does exist and am curious as to how people gain mastery over their own identities. When I see embroidery I get a sense of someone's personal history, or what had to happen in order to make a piece of clothing. That's the stuff that keeps me up at night.
It's simply not a Louis Vuitton review until I discuss how they could possibly breathe new life into this season's monogrammed handbags. They were well out in force and toted around by almost every model on the catwalk in accompanying sweet shades or transparent sheer. Hearing about the techniques that went to construct these bags in itself seems luxurious, from crocodile skin so meticulously constructed that individual scales matched to an eggshell lacquer bag made under the guidance of the last man in Paris with knowledge of the skill. It is astonishing to think that we live in a society where people like that even exist, hidden away like so many lost socks. Or that in their lifetime and as a direct consequence of big business there has been dwindling demand for their work and appreciation of their expertise. Humanity really sucks sometimes, ya know?
The use of feathers in modern fashion has always bewildered me chiefly because they seem so expensive. They are also difficult to obtain and when they are used in garment construction they have a nasty habit of falling off. For a number of years I have therefore avoided them and been quite happy about it. This is largely due to industrial manufacturers seeing no need to make something with feathers or anytime they are used they are often amassed in such a way as to simulate fur. So for the longest time feathers are not something I have really considered as a fashion blogger, except as a curiosity shown only in curated exhibitions or the occasional couture show. I think what Jacobs has done here though is quite elegant but is also very modern. The dip dye effect is easily recognizable as a reoccurring trend popular within the last decade but to have the feathers trickle down the dress suggests an art deco influence. It almost emulates flapper girls' costumes of the 1920s which were made to exaggerate each movement or swing of the hips.