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Louis Vuitton

A month ago, Marc Jacobs opened the spring 2007 season with a tour de force in New York.<BR><BR><BR>

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A month ago, Marc Jacobs opened the spring 2007 season with a tour de force in New York. On Sunday, with the collections here nearing a close, he treated his Louis Vuitton audience to another dazzling display of something that proved all too rare in between — fashion.

His show had nothing to do with two of the season’s major trends — faux futurism and fear of taking a stand. Rather, like Alexander McQueen earlier in the weekend, Jacobs addressed the immediate future — next spring, and the question of what will entice women into the stores to buy.

The answer, rendered via a wildly complicated vision, is in fact quite simple: gorgeous clothes. Feminine, graceful clothes with a demonstrative point of view and the transformative, joyful quality that draws us to fashion in the first place. (Of course, this supposes that most of his runway gems will make it into production.)

“It’s pretty, fragile, lovely and romantic,“ Jacobs said before the show.

It was all that and more, his lineup of good and bad fairies (sans wings) working an 18th century-modern street chic hybrid with an obvious oh-so-prettied-up nod to one of his idols, Rei Kawakubo. This made for exquisite, painterly pilings of clothes usually arranged in conditions of engaging dishabille.

There were flounces, corsetry, cashmeres, Liberty prints, mattress ticking, shirts, veilings, floral sprinkles, canvas, athletic and safari elements, and silks masquerading as khakis, all twisted and warped beyond their ordinary states. These came in either the palest imaginable pastel washes or in delicately arranged layers of black. And they came with an abundance of accessories, from the delicate, decorative headbands worn in multiples to necklaces made of giant Liberty-print “pearls.”

As for the bags, the ideas just kept coming, as with the classic monogram, at once embroidered, printed and appliquéd with lace; collage bags made entirely from sections of past bags, and a clever manipulation of the LV monogram into the word “Love.”

A romantic reverie from start to finish. But lest anyone miss the versatility amidst the froth, Jacobs saved his simplest for last: a black peplumed jacket over cropped pants and a crisp white shirt.

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