Louis Vuitton Fall 1998 Ready-to-Wear Collection

Editor’s note: This selection was initially introduced in March 1998 in Paris and has been digitized as section of Vogue Runway’s ongoing endeavours to doc historic fashion demonstrates.

In the 1990s quite a few heritage houses got makeovers as fashion increasingly corporatized. The trials and triumphs of John Galliano at Christian Dior and Alexander McQueen at Givenchy, for case in point, have been well documented. Marc Jacobs also ended up in Paris at a storied maison, but his remit was distinctive. He was tasked with building a thing from nothing—a completely ready-to-don collection for a leather goods and accessory company which experienced in no way experienced one prior to. “When Bernard Arnault asked me if I’d do it, it took me just about 5 seconds to say indeed,” Jacobs recalled in a 1998 interview with The Fiscal Times. “Design is generally subjective but high quality is objective and that is what captivated me to Louis Vuitton.”

It so transpired that Jacobs’s debut, for fall 1998, coincided with Martin Margiela’s for Hermès. The press dubbed this situation “The Struggle of the Bags.” In so undertaking they designed much more sound than either designer, both of whom went in for distinct variants on simplicity. Jacobs’s selection had an American in Paris vibe. There was just about a Puritanism to his spare styles and constrained palette. “The selection of 50 outfits was so achingly hip, so New York minimal that its effects was severely muted,” wrote The Guardian at the time. “The apparel consist of the type of inverted snobbery that would make a solution society out of position. More shocking than Jacobs’s understated technique was the simple fact that there was only a single bag in the demonstrate, and it (like the clothing) experienced no seen logos. In introducing an solely new group to Louis Vuitton’s providing, Jacobs was setting up at ground zero, and he translated that idea into designs as elemental and clean as the geometry of a trunk, an legendary LV piece that the designer referenced in a statement he contributed to the “Backstage Information & Notes” feature that ran in the July 1998 difficulty of Vogue, which is reprinted under.

“Marc on Vuitton”
“I feel people today ended up expecting a great deal of monograms. It is difficult to you should anyone, but we started out at zero—this was a firm that experienced hardly ever carried out garments before. The outfits were being up to date, basic, deluxe, a backdrop for a luggage company—utilitarian and simple. Was it also utilitarian for the French? Well, you know, one of the initially Louis Vuitton trunks was gray and flat so it would be stackable. It was quite sensible I necessarily mean, there is method to all this insanity. Also, originally there was no monogram on the outside the house. Then Vuitton was copied so considerably he changed it to a stripe. Then a test. Then initials, which, by the way, were being encouraged by Japanese art in Paris at the time. I’m an specialist on all of this now.

Vuitton is a luxurious brand—it’s functional, but it is also a status accent. I made the decision status would be carried out my way, which is to say invisibly. That implies the Vuitton symbol is embossed on a messenger bag, white on white. For me that is what standing is: It is absolutely not about an additional century or about decoration in an apparent way. The notion that everything has to be the very same in trend, that everybody has to observe a person trend, that there is one particular form of standing is erroneous. You simply cannot assess a beaded costume to a straightforward cotton raincoat.

Also, I really don’t imagine of Louis Vuitton as French necessarily. It’s worldwide. I see Vuitton bags in airports all above the environment. You appear at Hello! magazine and there’s John McEnroe in a white shirt, denims, and a raincoat and carrying a Vuitton bag. That is the alluring, glamorous picture of what Louis Vuitton really should be.”

Francis McGee

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