As the Fashion world on Friday continued to buzz about Marc Jacobs’ spring 2019 fashion show — both its glorious fashion and woeful late start — the designer landed in Greece for a few days’ respite.
Earlier, he’d posted a lengthy commentary to Instagram under the header “I was late, I was late for a very important date,” depicting himself as Wonderland’s White Rabbit. In the post, “not a list of excuses but rather a list of facts,” Jacobs addressed his deeply held belief in the live-fashion-show concept.
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I sincerely apologize to anyone and everyone who was inconvenienced by my lateness at our Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show. For anyone interested, below is not a list of excuses but rather a list of facts. I fully understand people have plans, lives, commitments, flights, families to return to, etc and that I fully RESPECT. I’ve heard, read and reflected on your frustration, anger and outrage. If you choose to read the below, I hope that you can find your own place of understanding. 1. The night before the show at midnight, I believed that we would absolutely be starting at 6pm, as planned and it was my intention to do so. 2. At 3:30pm on the day of the show, I became aware that we would most likely be an hour late. In good faith and hope it was communicated that the show would start at 630pm and that was a mistake. 3. After years of being beyond punctual and once again, with every intention of remaining so, the fact is, more is always expected from us with fewer and fewer resources. That is not unique to me personally or us as a company. I have learned that I need to adjust to our realities. 4. It was my wishful thinking that we could accomplish all that needed to be done for this show with the circumstances we faced. I was wrong. Not because everyone didn’t make every effort or give it their all and more, life is just that way sometimes. I’ve always been told that, “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” With our shows, I always strive to present 7-10 minutes of live fashion theatre that hopefully makes some kind of statement or touch the audience in some way both aesthetically and emotionally. I think we all have to be a little more sensitive and flexible to the fragile state of the live experience. I hope anyone reading this will reflect on my thoughts as I have on yours. Sincerely and respectfully, Marc
His goal on the runway, he wrote, is to create a piece “that makes some kind of statement or [will] touch the audience in some way both aesthetically and emotionally.” Jacobs expressed concern for the delicacy of live-experience creative endeavors, and alluded to the multiple challenges that can disrupt the most determined planning. “I think we all have to be a little more sensitive and flexible to the fragile state of the live experience,” he wrote. “I hope anyone reading this will reflect on my thoughts as I have on yours.” He signed the post, “Sincerely and respectfully, Marc.”
Jacobs himself continued to reflect on the matter, even while putting physical if not psychological space between himself and Wednesday’s show at the Park Avenue Armory. Reached in Greece, he reiterated his concern. “I really want to repeat [my belief in] the fragile nature and future of the live experience, and that it would serve us all well to be careful,” Jacobs said. “All of our livelihoods or at least some of our pleasure rests somewhat on preserving this part of our jobs.”
While the brouhaha surrounding his collection triggered the conversation, Jacobs broadened the topic. “[My concern] applies in my/our case to fashion shows, but I think it [also] applies to all live experience: personal (perhaps too Black Mirror/George Orwell), theatre [sic], concerts/music, any and all live performance, really,” he said. He implied that with so much of life viewed on a handheld screen, the importance of the live event escalates for the audience, and by extension, the larger culture. All have a participatory role in the continuation of the live experience, which can come at a cost, such as a long wait for a short show. “I truly believe wholeheartedly that we all do have a responsibility, and obviously an interest, in preserving this aspect of our jobs, Jacobs said. “I love to do shows. I can’t imagine not doing them. I imagine that [many people] also, love to see them, mostly when [they’re] good. But you have to take the bad with the good.”