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The Moody Turn

Just how will Marc Jacobs' controversial fall collection affect New York Fashion Week's spring shows this September?

NEW YORK — Just how will Marc Jacobs’ controversial fall collection affect New York Fashion Week’s spring shows this September?

Jacobs’ dark and brooding collection, inspired by the sullen teenager Violet Incredible of “The Incredibles,” offered a darker vision of fashion that Seventh Avenue hadn’t seen in years. While many other New York designers still favored pretty and ladylike looks, Jacobs offered a stark contrast that split critics and retailers. But by the time the fall shows wrapped up in Paris, it was clear Jacobs was on to something: the likes of Miuccia Prada and Rochas’ Olivier Theyskens were on similar wavelengths with more somber collections that lightly referenced Nineties minimalism.

Their influence is likely to become crystal clear come the fall shows. While Seventh Avenue designers may not wholeheartedly embrace Jacobs’ extreme volumes and dark velvet and tulle gowns for spring, they might abandon the frills of past seasons and focus on a darker palette of colors.

“Americans can’t get as sober and sophisticated as Europeans can and sell it,” said David Wolfe, creative director at The Doneger Group. “I think we will do our own version of the somber mood, which will be less sexy and less kitschy. We are going to see things that C.Z. Guest would have worn.”

This story first appeared in the July 6, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.