Last night, the French Institute-Alliance Française awarded Marc Jacobs with the Trophée des Arts award at their annual gala. Anna Wintour presented Jacobs with the prize. “Whenever we have lunch, I feel like I am playing a game of verbal ping-pong. He will throw everyone and everything into the conversation, from the wonderful work of John Currin and Rachel Feinstein, to his latest training regime, to the phenomenon that is known as Alexa Chung, to some new French political controversy (always lots of those),” she said in her speech. “At the end of it, I feel totally outclassed, out of touch, and certainly completely out of shape, but also at the same time, absolutely and wonderfully exhilarated because Marc is someone who makes you want to rush out and do things.” Wintour also essentially confirmed reports that she was in China — a source of inspiration for Jacobs’s spring 2011 Louis Vuitton collection — over Thanksgiving. “I’ve just come back from Shanghai and Beijing,” she continued. “And everywhere I went, to dinners, meetings, museum visits, I heard the same thing: ‘Miss Wintour, do you know Marc Jacobs? Could you possibly get me Marc Jacobs’ autograph? A signed photograph? Please ask Marc Jacobs to come here and to collaborate with the Chinese artists.’ So Marc, on behalf of 1.3 billion Chinese, consider yourself invited.”
Though Jacobs hasn’t been traveling to Asia, he has been dressing in drag on occasion. Katie Grand, who styles Louis Vuitton shows and has an “incredible” collection of Marc Jacobs clothes, styled the designer in drag for the cover of Industrie magazine, shot by Patrick Demarchelier. “I think Industrie asked her to do a story, and she approached me and said, ‘What do you think about wearing Marc Jacobs from over the years?’ and I said, ‘Okay,’” explained Jacobs, who wore pants last night. So those were Grand’s clothes that Jacobs wore. “I was just kind of shocked that Katie and I wear the same size in clothes and shoes and everything. But I had fun. I don’t take myself too seriously that way.” He added, “I don’t really think of it as, like, drag. It’s funny, some friends of mine and I, a couple of years ago, we had a party where we all wore dresses. And they’re all kind of very masculine guys, so it was really funny to see them in dresses, not makeup or anything, but just dresses and high heels. And then I guess for Halloween I wore some Saint Laurent high heels and a tuxedo jacket and stockings.”
Jacobs hasn’t done any Christmas shopping — and doesn’t necessarily plan to: “I like to give gifts to people when I kind of feel inspired to, not when the calendar says it’s time to.” For the holidays he plans to travel to Cartagena with friends. His business partner Robert Duffy, meanwhile, will finally honeymoon with Alex Cespedes — whom he married in April — in Singapore, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand from December to January.
Jacobs brought Alexa Chung as his date last night. She had a new haircut but assured us it wasn’t a “breakup haircut” or indicative of some other such life-changing event. “It was inspired by my horselike face, which was looking increasingly disgusting with every inch that was added, so I lopped it off for the sake of the jawline,” she explained. “Hard-hitting news.”