Take me Back to '06

Guys, Louis Vuitton this season reminded me what it was like to be 14 again and totally excited about, totally falling in love with fashion for the first time. Looking at the show I was back in February 2006; youtube was brand new and my 14-year-old self was completely transfixed by Marc Jacob's Fall 2006 show video. I'd never looked at a whole collection before and the knitted mushroom hats, the plaid, the strange layering and silhouettes and the mixes of flannel and sequins were all both completely new and utterly intoxicating. There was a theatrical element to that collection, the clothes dealt more with fantasy than reality perhaps (completely unlike the clothes populating my second-to-last post), and rather than simply existing unto themselves, everything was a signifiier for something else. I saw grunge in the plaid (obviously) and that particular early 00s feminist spirit in those sequins. These deeper elements have always gotten me most excited about fashion, despite striving to be more aloof and sophisticated at times - although at these moments as consolation I tell myself that these are the sorts of collections that Grace Coddington loves too.

Nothing has been as exciting as that Marc Jacob's collection in a long time. But MJ has done it again, and Louis Vuitton was super exhilirating. Like stage clothes but not, they conjure up images of so much. If you've never seen Belle de Jour before, if you know nothing about femme fatales and Catharine Deneuve and even, I don't know, France and French ladies, and nothing about simultaneously empowering and self-objectifying sexuality, then I believe you could understand it all just by watching this collection. Or if we were to avoid exaggeration, you could at least begin to understand all of these things in that hard-to-pin-down aesthetic and vibey way.

In fact I'm going to argue that Jacobs was even more successful than Prada at giving us not just clothes but a story and a plot. Every reviewer for Prada went on about the set and show atmosphere, which leads me to think that perhaps it was the whole experience that was more successful than the collection itself, and it was the experience that intoxicated those reviewers present. Because Prada's clothes were not nearly as evocative and in tune with the overall mood as these.

But gosh the collection requires multiple viewings, if only to nut around how Jacobs has covered the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s and managed to make it so specifically cohesive. Speaking of the 70s, I love the conversations that inevitably occur between Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton each season. In fact I didn't click with MJ until I saw LV. I wasn't feeling that collection at all, and now some of the looks are my favourite of the season. Dance and sequins and Minnelli and fur and v-necks, of course!

But back to Louis V., this is the kind of collection that makes me want fashion to slow down. As sure as night follows day come September, Spring 2014 will show, and all attention will turn to what Jacobs does next. Winter 2013 will be old news. But I don't want it to be old news! I want magazines to be writing about it and photographing it for years to come! I want people to stew and find new ways to interpret the marabou trimmed coats and floor-skimming slips! Plz can it just be forever?

You were thinking this was going to be a Jacobs-exclusive post weren't you? Ha! I'm going to throw in some Marni seemingly last minute to stir things up a bit. Because there were some wonderful similarities between Marni and Louis V. You may remember that last season Marni had a transformation of sorts. Critics liked to say that the house had "grown up" but I didn't believe that becoming more restrained and comparatively minimal constitutes growing up, and besides, I liked the old Marni better. Or so I thought! I can now stop complaining about Marni's new look (to deaf ears, mind you), because boy was Winter 2013 wonderful. A lot of what I said about Louis Vuitton applies here. Although because this is Milan, not Paris or New York, the moodiness is a touch darker, and a touch more earnest.

Folk tales and bears in the woods and all that. Highlights including massive fur stoles dyed in a moody rainbow of colours, topped off by dripping-blood lips and sensible sandals.

Oh, and by the way, this is my 100th post! Happy blog day! Or something. To celebrate, a fitting celebratory image.

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