Marc Jacobs' latest for Louis Vuitton is so very kawaii (that's Japanese for "cute") it's going to drive young women everywhere utterly nuts. Girl nation was thrown for a loop when the designer sent out a pastel-rainbow troupe of sweethearts in duchesse-satin zip-up dresses with Peter Pan collars. They tripped along carrying the latest monogram bags, perked up by computerized prints of little flowers and cartoon creatures, the work of the latest LV guest artist, Takashi Murakami.
The collection radiated a sunny '50s- and '60s-style optimism via little dresses, jackets, swingy skirts, knits and bathing suits finished with minute edgings of frills and tiny bows. There were strappy dresses with raised waists, some formfitting and others flared, done in a palette that ranged from the prettiest champagne through rose, lemon, pistachio and sky-blue. Even the swimsuits had that cute flip of a modesty flounce circa 1960.
In this, his third stellar collection of the season, Jacobs proved just how adept he is at merging happy retro memories and modern pop culture. His smartest crossover moves? Morphing rubber into cherry-red polka-dot pencil skirts, macs and suits decorated with 3-D flowers, and cutting ladylike jackets and coats out of printed neoprene. Add in jokey Minnie Mouse bows on peep-toe slingbacks and the result was a collection that will have lines forming around the block at Louis Vuitton stores from the first day of spring.