Jacobs bows out with somber, sexy finale

Credited with regenerating Louis Vuitton and turning it into a global success story, designer will leave to focus on his own label

Paris fashion week closed yesterday with the announcement, immediately after his show, that Marc Jacobs is to leave luxury conglomerate Louis Vuitton after 16 years at its helm, to focus on his own label.

His dark and gothic finale on a set furnished with items from previous collections such as a fairground carousel, fountains, elevators and a large clock, received a standing ovation.

Credited with regenerating Louis Vuitton and turning it into a global success story, Jacobs made his dramatic exit with an all-black collection (like his first) in funereal darkness, dedicated to the women who inspire him “and the showgirl in every one of them”.

Both sombre and sexy, with wild women in fishnets and fans on the carousel, the clothes were those of the night and models, like nocturnal birds of prey in huge feathered headdresses, stomped around in biker boots wearing crystal embellished bodysuits, transparent lace dresses or graffiti.


Mundane everyday streetwear, such as jeans, jackets, sweatshirts and leggings, were given the full couture treatment with crystal embroidery, feathers and dense sequins. Even patches on jeans and knee pads were covered with glittering jet.

“It’s the decoration and applied ornamentation of Paris that dazzles,” the designer said. “I revel in pure adornment.” His successor has not yet been named, though rumours abound that the frontrunner is likely to be Nicolas Ghesquière, currently at Balenciaga.

Sarah Burton
Jacobs departure may have stolen the headlines, but at Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton continues to make her mark with impressive workmanship and creativity. Her powerful collection, shown in the riding arena of the Republican Guard, was a marvel of craftsmanship and intricate detail and her colourful leather-clad women with their silver and gold helmets, harnesses and heavy fustanella skirts looked both romantic and provocative, keeping alive the true McQueen spirit.

Deirdre McQuillan

Deirdre McQuillan

Deirdre McQuillan is Irish Times Fashion Editor, a freelance feature writer and an author