"We have the same therapist," laughed architect Peter Marino yesterday evening whilst in conversation with long-term collaborator Marc Jacobs. During an intimate talk curated by The Architecture Foundation at the Tate Modern, hosted by Penny Martin, the duo discussed their mutual love of the arts, New York’s 80s club scene and showmanship. Jacobs, who worked with Marino during his sixteen-year the tenure atLouis Vuitton, also revealed details about his recent departure from the fashion house and his hopes for his successor Nicolas Ghesquière. Here, we reveal excerpts from their conversation.
“Actually, I’m a little scared. I mean it wouldn’t be me if I sat here and pretended to be super confident about everything. There’s a kind of healthy fear that I have – it’s how I operate. On a good day I believe it’s going to be amazing and on a bad day I think I need that other place to hide. But anyway, today I’m in a good place. I think it’s going to be great. I guess there’s a plus and minus to doing the Marc Jacobs Louis Vuitton thing. I loved it and I’ve learnt a lot from living in Paris. I don’t know what the future will be and I’m just sort of like lets see, lets see how it goes.
“On a good day I believe it’s going to be amazing and on a bad day I think I need that other place to hide”
I’ve always admired Nicolas. You know, I’m curious to see what he’ll do you. I mean we have such different aesthetics. I guess I’ve gone through kind of ups and downs about it, but the thing is before me there was no ready to wear. There were no shoes; there were no jewellery and no menswear – there was nothing. So, I had an opportunity that was so wonderful. I was the first clothing designer there. There were all these stories of houses bringing in new designers. But I think things need change, they just don’t stay the same. I’m just really glad that somebody who I really respect and admire and I think is a great talent is there. I’m just curious to see what he does.
In a very small way and I landed this big job [creative director of sportswear brand Perry Ellis] at 25 years old. I was always trying to please other people – I thought that was my job. I thought that was done by making the person who hired you happy, by listening to what they had to say and doing what they told you to do. I found that that didn’t really make me very happy, it just made me busy! I’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer and never wanted to be anything else really. I thought about what moved me and what has always inspired me and what I’ve always had a primitive connection to and it’s contemporary art, music and pop culture. So, this was a moment in New York following a big cycle of glamorous women in very provocative low-cut dresses and I was young-er, like half my age, I’ve 50 now! So I was about 25, and there was something going on in music and in art – there was a shift in the way models looked and the music that I was listening to was called grunge.
“I bought a plaid flannel shirt on St. Marks for two dollars and we turned it into a two thousand dollar evening gown”
So, for my grunge inspired collection for Perry Ellis I sort of started with this idea of high and low. The girls wore plaid. I think, I bought a T-shirt or plaid flannel shirt on St. Marks Place in New York City for two dollars and we turned it into a two thousand dollar evening gown. So, I like the idea of elevating things that were everyday, in the now and were low-impact. Anyway I got fired after this collection! Hopefully it’s the best thing that ever happened to me, because LVMH came knocking and hired me to work for Louis Vuitton, where I’ve worked for the past 16-years.”