Style | Need To Now

A new exhibition pays tribute to two Vuitton greats

Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton will be the focus of a Parisian spectacle

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A new exhibition pays tribute to two Vuitton greats

Image: © Louis Vuitton/Chris Moore

February 13 2012
Vicki Reeve

When looking at self-described (but utterly glamorous) “packhorse” Joan Collins travelling in style with her 30 or so Louis Vuitton cases, it’s amazing to remember that prior to Marc Jacobs’s arrival at the house in 1997, those cases would not have contained any ready-to-wear Vuitton fashions. For it was Jacobs who introduced – for the first time in the history of the marque – ready-to-wear collections for men and women.

It’s also incredible to think that Jacobs himself has now been artistic director at Louis Vuitton for 15 years – an eternity on planet fashion. But so assimilated is Jacobs’s name into the LV world that his work is forming half of the mouthwatering exhibition Louis Vuitton – Marc Jacobs at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, with the other half dedicated to the eponym and founder (in 1854) of one of the world’s most distinguished fashion houses.

The exhibition presents both protagonists as major innovators during momentous times – Vuitton during the industrialisation of the 19th century, Jacobs peaking at the height of globalisation. The first floor of the museum will display a variety of Vuitton’s expertly constructed trunks – including one made in c1865 for a (very spoilt) doll and her trousseau, another in Vuitton’s early signature striped canvas, and a glorious 1891 “bed trunk” in Damier canvas from which unfolds a jolly red-and-white-striped camp bed (second picture).

The second floor will be filled with a selection of Jacobs’s crackers – his most iconic designs, including looks that run the gamut from the romantic (spring/summer 2002) to the festishistic (autumn/winter 2011), and also his collaborations with artists such as Takashi Murakami and Richard Prince (spring/summer 2008 Prince bags in first picture).

Sign up fashionably early for this one, as you can expect oh-so-chic queues around the block.