Marc Jacobs’ Last Louis Vuitton Show Dominates the Catwalks

The Louis Vuitton S/S ’14 show in Paris this year was undoubtedly the most spectacular of the season. As the last show created for the fashion house by Marc Jacobs, the extravagant display included all the highlights of the designer’s previous catwalk shows: the horse carousel, the fountain and the escalators were all there to remind us of how fruitful this 16-year-long relationship was. However, this time everything was black. From the stage props to every piece of clothing (save for the occasional mid-wash boyfriend denim), no other colour was showcased. Models walked solemnly with highly ornate, 5-foot-tall feather headpieces that echoed Native American themes, a look that was mirrored in the movement of the fountain water. Each garment was rich in details, with micro nets, polka dots, feathers, sequins and diamantes juxtaposed to create layers.

The predominant decade evoked was the 1920s, with tunic dresses, crew neck and demure shapes, with a nod to the Victoriana trend in the white, severe hair and make up. The whole show lent flashbacks to a derelict-yet-opulent, coal-soaked Dickensian scenery, which was strangely but perfectly offset by eighties-inspired pieces such as short, boxy blazers, circus leotards, tough boots and biker jackets. It is sad to see such a talent go, but it is time to see Marc Jacobs focus on his own brilliant lines and make room for his replacement, former Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière. Those are some big shoes to fill.

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Colour Feature: Orange*

Orange is the first colour I ever remember someone disliking. I was seven or eight, not yet into black, and I was surprised to hear my mother say she found orange-coloured things repulsive. I hadn’t imagined people could dislike colours. I mean, sure, it made a kind of sense: I certainly knew which foods I disliked, for example; it just hadn’t occurred to me that colours were up for discussion. I knew I liked tigers, and that they were mostly orange. It was an earthquake of a moment.

Balenciaga S/S ’12

My mother, like all mothers, was half-right. Orange mixes its messages. It’s both warning and invitation. It has connotations of illness, of plague, of those glistening little rainforest dart frogs that exude poisonous syrups – and yet think of apricots, the nudity of peaches, the juice of tangerines and of, well, oranges. It’s sweet, is what I’m getting at, with all the sin and danger that word implies.

NORDSTROM Herschel Supply Co. ‘Walton’ Duffel

But we’re talking blaze orange here. Saturated safety orange. The colour of road cones and the Plymouth Barracuda. The colour of easyJet aeroplanes and the mobile phone company. That bright, toxic, new-basketball orange. The shade of deer-can’t-see-it orange you’d find in a hunting store. It’s the colour of autumn, of change – halfway between the self-sure reds and yellows of this world, it’s the colour of construction, of caution on building sites. Primordial, volcanic. Of something not yet fully made-up. A Halloween melding of this world and the other.

ASOS Denim & Supply Ralph Waxed Jacket

It’s a colour that’s been creeping up slowly. Oriental. Creeping onto shoes and bags, Sartorialist posts, the floor of Prada’s Men’s Fall/Winter 2012. It demands attention and works well with black, white, or dark brown. With leather. With wool. It’s one of the few colours – purple’s another – that asks something of the wearer. It confers a kind of power, a double-edged radiance you would do well to respect, and, like Alice Walker says of purple, I think it pisses God off if you walk by it and don’t notice.

From The Sartorialist

Prada F/W ’12

Do not wear more than one orange item. That one thing should be protective or functional rather than decorative, i.e., a coat, a hat, a tie, or shoes/boots. Don’t wear it with green. Don’t wear bow-ties. Don’t live alone.

Brioni F/W ’12

*This article was written by my friend and colleague Sam Eckett, press release editor and writer with a unique sense of style and a passion for all things beautiful.