For his Fall/Winter 2011-2012 collection, designer Marc Jacobs explored the mysterious allure of fashion and fetish—think Catherine Deneuve in “Belle de Jour” or Charlotte Rampling in “The Night Porter.”
At an exclusive press presentation in Bangkok, Thailand, military and mannish influences combined with tight corsets and demure blouses—all in near-monochrome palette of beige, gray, navy and white, with a hint of ruby and emerald.
Military coats and jackets were softened with drop shoulders and nipped at the waist with wide corset-type belts, while knit sweaters alluded to French maid uniforms with patent leather white collars.
Except for the skinny jodhpur pants, the women’s collection had mostly skirts and dresses. Pencil skirts were shown in sheer fabrics, revealing pants and stockings underneath.
Other styles had a softer silhouette, such as skirts with paillettes that mimicked python scales, and ’40s-inspired crepe dresses that had a fetish motif print of masks, shoes and gloves.
Like the designer’s previous collections for the brand, every piece revealed a richness and intricacy of couture detail. The clothes were cut from an incredible range of fabrics, many manipulated far from their natural states. The mask, shoe and glove motif, for instance, were not prints, but intricate sewn-in sequins.
Jodhpur pants had hand-stitched leather panels, while lace guipure dresses and blouses were plasticized or lacquered with LV’s signature monogram. Yet for all their rubberized, plasticized, waxed, car-painted veneers, and for all their police-hatted, silk-stockinged, jodhpured models, the clothes will certainly resonate well beyond the dominatrix set.
In keeping with the fetish theme, Vuitton fans will find much to fantasize about when the accessories collection hits the stores. Shoe lovers will be enthralled by the brand’s plasticized Mary Janes, rubber knee-high boots, and round-toe pumps with delicate bow straps.
For handbags, the “it” style of the season is the reinterpreted 1958 top-handle Lockit bag, which comes in four different styles: The roomy Lockit Voyage, the dimunitive Lockit BB, the classic Lockit, and the Lockit clutch which even comes with a gold or diamond-studded handcuff.
The bags come in a myriad of materials, from shiny monogram canvas and shearling, to rubberized leather and jewel shades of patent leather. The brand also introduced smaller crossbody bags that can be used as handbag or shoulder bag with straps.
Jewelry also played on the fetish theme. The collection featured mask headbands and pendants sprayed with car paint in black, silver and gold; leather and metal cuffs; and gold metal collars. Even scarves and stoles featured the burlesque motif with symbols such as masks, gloves, and shoes.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Louis Vuitton’s SLG Savoir Faire Collection, the presentation featured LV’s collaboration with artist Billie Achilleos, who made four animal sculptures using the Malletier’s small leather goods.
A graduate of the Wimbledon College of Art, Achilleos fashioned adorable animals such as the armadillo, beaver, chameleon and grasshopper using coin purses, belts and wallets from the brand. While not available for sale, the small leather goods featured can be customized with hand-painted stripes and monogrammed with the wearer’s initials, for a wait time of around six weeks.