Marc Jacobs captures spirit of Paris fashion week with whiff of scandal
Designer says he was inspired by Claridge's in London where he regularly observes 'exquisite creatures' coming and going
...Marc Jacobs, the designer of Louis Vuitton, presented an appropriately scandalous finale to a Paris fashion week riven by rumour and disgrace, with a collection inspired by fetish and a show themed around the "hookers, chambermaids, wives, mistresses and other exquisite creatures" whom Jacobs sees when he stays at Claridge's hotel in London.
The audience were seated around four ornate, gilded elevators, each manned by a uniformed bellboy. As the show began, the first lift opened and a model emerged dressed in a monogrammed chauffeur's cap and smartly buttoned jacket over a patent corset and a sheer skirt which revealed stockings beneath. The elevators descended out of sight and returned, each delivering a model in a fetishised, high-gloss fantasy of uniform: knee boots in sex-shop latex, tight trousers with the leather patches used on jodhpurs pulling the focus to the inner thigh and demure knee-length printed dresses embroidered with gloves, masks and high heels.
As the collection segued from daywear into evening wear, the uniform references shifted from bellboys and chauffeurs to French maids, with sheer black cocktail dresses bibbed with starched white collars and venetian masks worn in the hair as Alice bands. Last to appear was Kate Moss, who strode the catwalk in tight jacket, black knickers and boots, smoking a cigarette.
Backstage, Jacobs said the idea for this season's show came from Claridge's hotel in London. "Whenever I stay there, I see all these incredible women, coming and going in the morning and the afternoon and at night. I love looking at what they are wearing trying to guess who they're with – husbands, lovers, clients."
..."It was about fetish, but it wasn't dark," Jacobs insisted. Although some models had their wrists bound by handcuffs to their handbags, the cuffs were linked by fragile crystal beads instead of binding chains.
"At Vuitton, it always starts with the bags. I kept thinking about this inexplicable passion and obsession women have for bags, and how the bag becomes a fetishised object. I wanted to celebrate the love and desire that is part of that fetish," Jacobs said. "We associate uniforms with fetish because uniforms suggest roles that require effort and commitment, whether that's a maid's dress or a dressage jacket."