Thinking I should get the opinions of the real experts, I turned to three of my friends who are editors at local fashion magazines for their assessment of this collection. They do not want to give their names, though two of them have been pictured on here before.
The Senior Fashion Editor at the China edition of a major biweekly European title thinks women with a “more edgy sense of style will have no mixing some pieces from this collection into their look”.
She also draws the parallel to Karl Lagerfeld’s Paris-Shanghai collection for Chanel, also an attempt to ride what she calls the “East Asian fast train”. She doesn’t like either collection, noting that “obviously Westerners have a different vision of Chinese style, a vision more likely to appeal to Westerners.”
A Senior Editor at a Modern Media, a very successful entirely local publishing group, thinks this collection has some real potential. She says that Marc Jacobs must have had wealthy middle-aged Chinese women in mind when he designed this “horrible” collection. Such women prefer to wear Chinese style clothing when they attend formal events, but they also hold LV in very high-esteem. This collection gives them both the things they want. She concedes that younger girls “might be able to pick a few pieces from the collection and wear them in more interesting ways.”
The Fashion Editor from the Chinese branch of a Japanese fashion magazine for younger women says most people here will not be interested in these designs, though the major exception will be celebrities, for whom the gowns are perfect for the red carpet. She is, however, mostly frustrated that LV refuses to cooperate with and provide clothing to her magazine, preferring Western titles. She says that “riding the Chinese economic wave through using such designs is a good idea, but their public relations is a failure” since they are not working with her magazine, which has larger circulation than the local editions of Vogue, Bazaar, etc.
My assessment is Marc Jacobs might have been attempting kitsch for its own sake, but he will achieve important marketing objectives here in China with this collection – if only because a lot of people are talking about it – and probably also have some buyers among his army of loyal devotees.