Sep 26, 2011 12:00AM

Louis Vuitton Exhibition: A Farewell to Marc Jacobs?

Will Tom Ford take over?

As rumours intensified about Marc Jacobs' potential move to Christian Dior over the weekend, he was living it up in Milan courtesy of Louis Vuitton, promoting the newly reopened Louis Vuitton store on Via Montenapoleone. A mecca of luxury, the store is four stories high and boasts a 'Made To Measure' service for shoes and bags, as well a Travel Room - an area entirely dedicated to travel luggage and accessories, Vuitton's initial claim to fame.

Jacobs was also in town - reportedly for the first time in 14 years - for the opening of a Louis Vuitton exhibition. Titled Louis Vuitton: The Art of Fashion, and curated by Jacobs' long-term collaborator Katie Grand, the exhibition is an archival presentation of Jacobs' great hits for the fashion house. Since the introduction of ready-to-wear with Jacobs' appointment in 1998 there have been some epic moments, like the latest Fall Winter presentation in Paris that featured sex-pot night-porter/French maid-inspired outfits along with Kate Moss smoking a cigarette. The exhibit, which is housed in Milan's Triennale, 8 iconic designs styled together, irerspective of year or season, along with the Louis Vuitton collaborations with artists Stephen Sprouse, Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami and Julie Verhoeven - creative projects that reinvigorated the heritage brand and garnered a cult following.

Yet when viewing the garments en masse one has to wonder: what will the brand do without its star?

Christian Dior has delayed appointing a new Creative Director since the departure of John Galliano in March, however, after the disastrous couture show in June, it's likely that Bernard Arnault has been been spurred into action. Jacobs denies any change, recently saying to Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune, "I like Louis Vuitton. I'm happy here." We like Louis Vuitton too, Marc, a lot, but really - who else could do Dior? One can't help but be suspicious of the timing of the retrospective either, it does seem like a poetic farewell. Besides, if the most recent rumour about Tom Ford going to Louis Vuitton turns out to be true, this could be a very happy ending for both luxury houses (and for us!).

Photographs courtesy of Louis Vuitton