By  on March 3, 2008

Marc Jacobs has an affection for boldly shaped silhouettes, and he showed it with the overscaled versions in his remarkable fall collection for Louis Vuitton. Here, a jacket with pleated details at the hips and a full skirt, both in the thick, cozy fabrics he favored throughout.

Marc Jacobs created distinctive, boldly constructed shapes for Louis Vuitton, while Olivier Theyskens' undone looks for Nina Ricci fell in slender curves.

Louis Vuitton: Richard Prince? He and his high-voltage artwork are so last season. At least on the Louis Vuitton runway (though certainly not at retail), where, on Sunday afternoon, Marc Jacobs showed a fabulous, brash collection that took a strict turn from the madcap artwork of spring. Now there's nary a cartoon character, nurse, nor painted stroke in sight. Rather, the collection was all about structure, a point the designer alluded to with his installation outside the Cour Carrée: a vast grid of construction-site scaffolding.

As is often the case, with the hindsight of a completed season, a theme Jacobs put forth in New York, that of scaling back, now looks huge. We've seen it every which way including boring, which, mercifully for the fashion-weary, Jacobs doesn't do. But he does do fashion-improbable contrast, and these clothes were packed with it, on one hand stripped of decoration and on the other, structured to the point of flamboyance. Jacobs took elements of classic French chic and exploded them, along the way paying homage to Montana and Mugler, but with an aggression that skewed pretty pastel. He started with thick, cozy fabrics that screamed fall-winter: bouclés, blanket cashmeres, even wide-wale corduroy, and worked them with a deftness suited to far lighter materials. Zip-up coats and jackets molded seamlessly to the torso; a skirt flaunted major roller-coaster curves on each side. Throughout, Jacobs sculpted, peplumed and blousoned inventively, incorporating bold collars, asymmetric swirls and endless hip action, including megapleat pants and two looks that featured uncovered pannier wiring. The jewelry was similarly bold, in a sculpted, industrial vein, and the bags, ultrachic, clean shapes in embossed skins slung on snake handles.

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