Marc Jacobs’ tropical volume
Leave it to Marc Jacobs to finish off the quietest season in memory in New York with the fashion week’s most inventive show.
Not that he made an explosion – seeing as the show was presented almost entirely without sound – as the models marched around the giant Uptown Armory on Park Avenue. Normally, designers built large sets inside this mammoth space. Instead, Jacobs, left it entirely empty – with just a single file ring of chairs for the audience around the edge and the cast of 56 marching on the pine wood floor.
The collection, on the other hand, brimmed with visual excitement. Jacobs may have riffed on many of his classic ideas – from his wacky plaids to his favored mega-large buttons – but the collection still felt very new His cast of NYC-based hipster models marching in bright, twisted turbans and African tribal hats.
The volumes were huge – five-inch-long turned down shirt collars; elephantine suits and cardigans that reached the knees. Jacobs’ flight bags and fanny packs were hefty too and his belts practically trailed the ground.
The designer used his redrawn plaids in giant cocoon coats and egg shaped raingear – mingling active sportswear pieces with tailored style. Often trimmed with a new sporty version of his logo name.
“Twisting fantasy into reality through exaggerated, decadent and exotic sportswear silhouettes. This collection is the reimagining of seasons past somewhere beyond the urban landscape of New York City,” explained Jacobs in his program notes.
It looked like his floral and leaf print fabrics were sourced from a shopping trip to a Senegalese market - though abstracted and made in mixes of nylon, silk and jersey. Then, in the clever hands of milliner master Stephen Jones, sculpted into the most remarkable headgear we have seen in New York this decade.
Above all there was a sense of a designer working very hard. Of a creator determined to get his brand back on track, after the house lost, by analysts’ estimates, some $80 million last year.
Taking in the show was everyone from Courtney Love to the house’s next CEO Eric Marechalle, who starts his new job in New York on October 2.
“Superb! I think what we saw today was a creative genius at work. My job is to make sure more people fully understand all the aspects of his talent. So that people can find all his exciting products when they come in our stores,” said Marechalle, who left the show to attend an event of his current job, as CEO of Kenzo. A party thrown deep in the Lower East Side to celebrate the new Kenzo film, "Cabiria, Charity, Chastity," written and directed by Natasha Lyonne.
“Kenzo was a great experience. Now we are very happy to be coming to New York, which is a very exciting challenge. Marc Jacobs is a genius brand!” smiled the executive, who will move his family to a loft in downtown Manhattan.
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