“I don’t find clothes sexy at all,” Marc Jacobs said last night in a talk with the deputy director of the Museum at F.I.T., Patricia Mears, as part of the French Institute Alliance Française Fashion Talks Series. “I find people sexy, and I find personalities fascinating and sexy and appealing and charming. So a sexy girl wrapped in a sheet is a sexy girl, and an un-sexy girl in a low-cut dress is still an un-sexy girl.” That thinking surely influenced the famous casting for his fall 2010 Louis Vuitton show, for which he chose voluptuous, recognizable models instead of the typical super-skinny teenage girls.
Jacobs explained that he hadn’t been attempting to make any statements about age or body type. “I believe that these iconic, larger-than-life women are very Vuitton-like. I was saying earlier that I believe that a Vuitton woman has luster and more of an edge to her, and this season we talked about it and we decided the criteria was, they have to be available on the day of the show and they have to be gorgeous,” he explained. “So we just kept throwing out names … I suggested Elle Macpherson and Laetitia Casta, and [my stylist Katie Grand] suggested Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima.” Jacobs didn’t get everyone he wanted. “There were plenty of other girls who we wanted to work with who weren’t available. We wanted Daria [Werbowy], but she was booked for a shoot, and Isabeli [Fontana] but she was booked for a shoot.”
He continued: “Even if you had no idea about fashion and had never looked at fashion, you would say, ‘Wow, look how beautiful those women look.’” He knows he succeeded, because straight guys told him so. “I did receive e-mails from people’s brothers who were like” — here he faked a deep, dopey voice — “‘I don’t know anything about fashion, but that was a gorgeous show.’ Which was really what we wanted to do.”
During the audience Q&A, a prepubescent boy no older than 12 commandeered the microphone. “When you have so many different ideas coming at you, and sometimes none at all, how do you not want to just throw in the towel sometimes?” he stuttered. “It happens all the time!” Jacobs assured him. “Every single season, I say the same thing, I say, ‘I don’t know what we’re going to do this time.’ I am like a broken record … My shrink hears it every week.”
Another audience member asked if Jacobs stresses over his outfit in the morning. “I really think that whole moment of taking care of yourself and showering and putting on lotions — for women, it’s really great, with the whole makeup thing — and then choosing an outfit, I don’t know, I just think it’s such a glorious and beautiful process,” he said. “I used to be the type of person who would be in and out of the bathroom in five minutes, and now it takes me two hours. Nobody understands what I’m doing in there. I emerge wearing the exact same thing I wear every day. But, what are you going to do?”
A young woman asked Jacobs if he prefers boxers or briefs. “Briefs,” answered Jacobs, unfazed. The woman was delighted, and added, “My mother wants me to say that she buys Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton.” There was thunderous applause.