Backstage at Louis Vuitton, just before 2:30 P.M., the show’s scheduled start time, a bevy of flamboyant teens—all glitzed-out, feathered-up microminis and euphorically frizzed ponytails—is lined up atop supersculptural platforms in what masquerades as precision, chatting, twisting handbag straps and shifting their scant weight from one foot to the other. Aside from their impatient, girlish squirming, the scene plays as remarkably calm. Only makeup maestro extraordinaire Pat McGrath breaks the holding pattern with shouts of “No powder on the nose and chin!”
Marc Jacobs, the man whose name is, if not on the door, then the rock-star presence behind the name on the door, looks positively dapper, having ditched his recent uniform of a Comme des Garçons men’s skirt for a proper tailored suit. He strolls about coolly, silently flaunting his readiness to start the show while verbalizing the fact that he can’t just yet; he must wait for the biggest VIP of all, Bernard Arnault. “I want Mr. Arnault to say to me that he thinks that I did a great job,” Jacobs says later. “For so many years, all I wanted was a little bit of praise from him. Now I really get it, and it’s really great.”
Once Arnault takes his seat, the show starts. When it’s over, a breathless 13 or so minutes later, the LVMH chairman looks delighted. Ditto the larger audience, among whom one senses a communal sense of relief. On this final day of the spring 2009 collections, it’s up to a handful of big guns—Jacobs at Vuitton, Alber Elbaz at Lanvin and Miuccia Prada at Miu Miu—to salvage what must be characterized as a long, slow run of shows. Jacobs has done his part and then some, almost book-ending the season with spectacular efforts in New York with his own line, and here in Paris for Vuitton.
Eight days later, on a trip to New York, Jacobs settles into a banquette at the Mercer Hotel to discuss his brilliant twofer, but not before giving a rundown of his first few days in Gotham: a no-go decision to the hernia surgery he expected to have (he now must take it a bit easier at the gym); a Madonna concert (she made an impassioned plea for Obama); Elizabeth Peyton’s opening at The New Museum (“beautiful, beautiful show, and I was really happy to be there for her”); Equus (“a hard Saturday night. It was great but intense”), and the expected dining at Pastis and Da Silvano, all opportunities for people to lavish Jacobs with plaudits for his knockout season, praise he admits to basking in, if only briefly. “There’s this little tiny window of time that I get to enjoy any sort of positive feelings about the last show, because you’ve got to get involved in the next,” he says. “You’ve got to give yourself a cutoff.”
But these days, the stress of “the next” seems to agree with the designer, who looks fabulous, feels healthy and holds no animosity toward gossip mongers who chart his every possible move, including his love life. He calls current boyfriend Lorenzo Martone “the greatest, greatest, sweetest, nicest guy in the world,” and if blogs and tabloids chart their comings and goings, so be it. It’s not like they’re attempting to go incognito. “Celebrities and sometimes-celebrities sitting on the terrace at Pastis saying, ‘Don’t take my picture,’” Jacobs says with an incredulous look. “Well, then, don’t eat outside at Pastis, because that’s where the paparazzi are….It’s hard to believe somebody who is on stage doesn’t want to be noticed, and I mean a stage of any sort.” He finds himself content enough to riff seriously on that old get-high-on-life line: “I’m just actually completely high on doing and making and being in this role and enjoying it.”
And trying to keep perspective. Jacobs wonders whether the perception of his shows got a boost from the overall impression of a lackluster season. Though he altered his approach not a whit going into the dual design process, one thing was certain, he wasn’t feeling anything high-minded. “I just felt like I didn’t really want to be challenged intellectually by fashion,” he says. “I just wanted to see stuff. After a period where it feels like things are going too much in that modern direction, that it’s about cut and seam, I just felt like it was nice to be more demonstrative, to see things that you didn’t have to really think about. There was no stretch or challenge, it’s all really overt.”
Though no one would ever mistake Jacobs for a minimalist, last season’s New York show, with its grandly sculpted American sportswear motif, was as plain and undecorated an outing as he’s had since he introduced his now-famed cashmere thermals with gray flannel pants 11 years ago. And just as it lacked fall’s visual simplicity, the new collection also skirted the not-so-subliminal message of last spring’s Surrealist sexcapade romp. Ditto his Vuitton show, for which Jacobs played on various stereotypes of French chic without specifically studying any such references anew. “You have, in my case, 40 years of knowledge,” he says.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)