Isabel Marant’s fashion and life philosophy has always been the feel-good, enjoy-life sort. It’s hard to recall a dour moment on her runway and easy to remember things like cloth shopping bags from a few seasons ago printed with a sweet, simple illustration of a circle of people holding hands with speech bubbles that said things like, “Let’s go shopping,” “We need you,” and “Be nice.”
For fall, Marant was particularly in the mood to be nice and happy. “Because of what’s in Paris with the attenuate, everything is a bit heavy,” she said backstage. “It reminded me of this time in the mid-Eighties when we had a lot of fun.” She was pre-fashion school, in club and flea market mode, going to London to buy creepers and dress up in a mix of rockabilly, punk and New Wave styles. That essentially summed up her fall runway.
If the Eighties were a good time for Marant, fashionwise it can be an era best left in the past. But memory served her well. There were some Flock of Seagulls hair moments, candy apple red patent leather and ruched and poufed party dresses, but Marant mostly chose to revive Eighties elements that play quite modernly today. The lineup was awash with great, oversize mannish coats — a double-breasted gray plaid style, a multicolored chunky tweed, a burgundy blue and gray plaid coat with slit panels. They came over distressed preppy argyle sweaters and marled cable knits worn with wrapped, ruched minis and skinny, cropped pants. Animal prints on a few jackets and strappy pointy-toed flats, as well as black leather added an after-dark music-inspired angle, while frilly blouses pumped up the New Romance of yore. If the total package could trigger amusing nostalgia for those who rocked the look its first time around, it could also easily be disassembled into pieces that were as wearable as they were fun.