Louis Vuitton: As the blinding sun streamed through the glass house where Marc Jacobs shows his Louis Vuitton collections, many guests used their nifty LV program folders to shield their eyes. Then, suddenly, a loud swoosh, and down came heavy black theatrical curtains all the way around, followed by a film projection that harkened back to silent movies and warned, “The show will start in 1 minute.” After a flourish of LV monogrammed spotlights, out came the girls for a collection Jacobs called “eclectic and eccentric.”

Hear, hear. The cinematic tricks only hinted at a collection that happily pirouetted spring’s girly-girly grist into unchartered turf. Think bouffanted Sixties starlet thinking Theda Bara thinking Cleopatra and you’ve just begun to get a handle on the show, a witty escapade that confused some in the audience and left others positively gleeful.

Rather than settle for the now-standard recipe for flou, Jacobs worked a bushelful of whimsy up into a giddy, unselfconsciously sexy feast. Sometimes a skirt-and-sweater duet are the stuff of the secretarial pool. However, when the sweater is cashmere smocked delicately in back and the skirt, actually two skirts, one made of festooned beading and the other, a pretty print, it becomes the stuff of wonder. But then, Jacobs has long loved the pairing of disparate pieces, and this collection was essentially about the great piece, often seamed and decorated to a fare-thee-well, if sometimes with a cut-and-paste attitude that kept the look young.

He showed it all, from swimwear to smokings, and somehow it all made sense. One girl’s fancy might lead her to a nautical moment with a bronze velvet middy riding over white cotton sailor shorts, and another’s, to an ultra-chic trench in glazed linen with a panné velvet border, and still another’s, to a latter-day, Marilyn-on-the-subway-grate dress in a sunburst of yellow pleats. And who can resist a little shine, whether in a jeweled bra, sequined borders, boatloads of lamé or a Midas-envy gold ostrich coat, especially worn with the ease of rich girls in the sand box?

And speaking of rich girls — every model out toted a new Vuitton handbag. But unlike in seasons past, when Jacobs worked a single bag theme, here he showed a slew: canvas edged in vibrant ostrich (a redux of the house’s classic travel bag); small monograms with jeweled “drapes;” embossed metallics; monogrammed croc, and yes, ruffled ostrich — a range of fabulously complicated designs, perhaps intended to provide every woman with her ultimate dream bag. Or maybe it was just to make life deliciously difficult for the folks in Chinatown. Either way, it works for us.Yves Saint Laurent: Fashion, like life, sometimes takes peculiar turns. And peculiar is the word for the Yves Saint Laurent collection Tom Ford presented on Sunday night, putting an unexpectedly odd punctuation on what has been a fabulous spring. Although tempting, it’s too easy to muse about the likely distraction of contract negotiations, especially since Ford worked magic for Gucci little more than a week ago. But, for whatever reason, he seemed remarkably off his game this time out, less because the clothes didn’t look good (many did), than because the collection displayed little of his typically razor-sharp focus.

It had all the early markings of a stunner, including the presence of Bernadette Chirac, the First Lady of France, attending her first prêt-à-porter show ever. And covered in multiple zebra skins, the runway pointed to high drama. But the drama never materialized. Ford opened with soft suitings in shiny white silk, and if that terminology rings a bit Eighties, so did the clothes, jackets narrowed to hug the hips, coats belted low, jodhpur-like pants full on top but tapered to grab — and bunch up at — the ankle.

Soon, however, Ford was off and running in a different direction — toward Studio 54, his bevy of models done up in layers of hanky-hemmed, fanny-wrapped silks for dresses or tops and skirts. And while their colors lacked the richness of his spectacular fall collection, many were beautiful. Elaborately cut and detailed, they played matte against shine, and played the vamp as well, sometimes falling off the shoulders and exposing breasts, intentionally or otherwise. But then, sex has always factored heavily in Ford’s work, and most of the clothes sought to answer that age-old question that pulsed from the soundtrack: “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?”

The smart money’s on yes. But even if those chiffons can’t get a guy horizontal, that seemed the sole purpose of Ford’s bizarre swimwear — microscopically militaristic, thanks to the rows of brass buttons. Conversely, his takes on the smoking honored Marlene as much as Yves while projecting sexual power of a chicer sort. Still, sex alone isn’t enough, and what this collection ultimately lacked was the steely conviction apparent in all of Ford’s best work.Yves Saint Laurent: Fashion, like life, sometimes takes peculiar turns. And peculiar is the word for the Yves Saint Laurent collection Tom Ford presented on Sunday night, putting an unexpectedly odd punctuation on what has been a fabulous spring. Although tempting, it’s too easy to muse about the likely distraction of contract negotiations, especially since Ford worked magic for Gucci little more than a week ago. But, for whatever reason, he seemed remarkably off his game this time out, less because the clothes didn’t look good (many did), than because the collection displayed little of his typically razor-sharp focus.

It had all the early markings of a stunner, including the presence of Bernadette Chirac, the First Lady of France, attending her first prêt-à-porter show ever. And covered in multiple zebra skins, the runway pointed to high drama. But the drama never materialized. Ford opened with soft suitings in shiny white silk, and if that terminology rings a bit Eighties, so did the clothes, jackets narrowed to hug the hips, coats belted low, jodhpur-like pants full on top but tapered to grab — and bunch up at — the ankle.

Soon, however, Ford was off and running in a different direction — toward Studio 54, his bevy of models done up in layers of hanky-hemmed, fanny-wrapped silks for dresses or tops and skirts. And while their colors lacked the richness of his spectacular fall collection, many were beautiful. Elaborately cut and detailed, they played matte against shine, and played the vamp as well, sometimes falling off the shoulders and exposing breasts, intentionally or otherwise. But then, sex has always factored heavily in Ford’s work, and most of the clothes sought to answer that age-old question that pulsed from the soundtrack: “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?”

The smart money’s on yes. But even if those chiffons can’t get a guy horizontal, that seemed the sole purpose of Ford’s bizarre swimwear — microscopically militaristic, thanks to the rows of brass buttons. Conversely, his takes on the smoking honored Marlene as much as Yves while projecting sexual power of a chicer sort. Still, sex alone isn’t enough, and what this collection ultimately lacked was the steely conviction apparent in all of Ford’s best work.

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