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July 28 2014

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Where Marc Jacobs And Louis Vuitton Meet

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This year, Marc Jacobs celebrates 15 years as the creative director of Louis Vuitton. And today in Paris, Louis Vuitton—Marc Jacobs, a comprehensive exhibition that explores two innovators and their roles in Vuitton’s 143-year history, opens to the public at the Louvre’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs. (If you can’t make it to Paris before the September 16 closing date, Rizzoli’s accompanying tome, with historical and critical essays by curator Pamela Golbin and Jo-Ann Furniss, a look back through the collections organized by Jacobs and Katie Grand, and more, arrives in April; it can be preordered here.)

“When we were talking through the project, what came out was we really wanted to portray Louis almost like a black and white picture, whereas Marc is like a Technicolor film,” said curator Pamela Golbin, a celebrated author, fashion historian, and the Chief Curator of Fashion and Textiles at Les Arts Décoratifs. The exhibition is divided between a historical view of founder Louis Vuitton himself and a contemporary view of Jacobs’ creation of the house’s ready-to-wear, which he founded in 1997 and has stewarded since. Here, Style.com talks to Golbin about creating the exhibition and the history of the influential house.

What does this exhibition say about the development of Marc’s career at Vuitton?

First of all, what’s so interesting about this exhibition is that it follows two men, so it’s about Louis and he has a whole floor, and then also a second floor is dedicated to Marc. When it came to Marc, it was important for him to be very involved in the project. I did not want this to be a retrospective; it’s more a celebration of what Marc has done in the last 15 years at Vuitton. And it’s incredible that it has already been 15 years. The exhibition is more about the vision that he created for the brand than anything else. And that vision is quite large. It’s not just about designing clothes. Obviously accessories are important, but so is advertising, his artistic collaborations, and just his overall cultural vision. So Marc’s floor begins with Marc’s World. We essentially opened up his head and we did a self-portrait of Marc through all of the cultural influences that he’s had and that he uses for his design process. So it’s like a giant Tumblr page with still images and video images of everything and anything that has influenced him over the years. It’s not at all chronological. It’s thematic. And he even came up with the titles for each of the cases.

Why did you want to steer away from doing a retrospective?
The idea was by no means to say, “OK, in 1997 he did this and he did that.” His story is not chronological. His story is really about an energy and an attitude. He turned Louis Vuitton from a brand into a house. And so what we tried to get across were the steps that he took to get there and important moments. And more importantly, just really his fashion vision for Louis Vuitton that, when he arrived, was already 143 years old. He really created a fashion entity within a luxury brand. Continue Reading “Where Marc Jacobs And Louis Vuitton Meet” »