This is not the lede. It’s the prologue: The wait was terrible. Whatever caused the Marc Jacobs show to start an hour-and-a-half late shouldn’t have happened. Jacobs and his staff have been at this a while; they know what it takes to develop a collection, and they should have safeguards in place to prevent this issue, which Jacobs had obsessively avoided for years with his on-the-button starts. Once he realized that the streak would end here, he should have determined a realistic ETA and then had his guests informed with as much notice as possible. It would have tempered at least some of the audience irritation. Prologue over.
Here’s the lede: A tour de force. Pure, unrelenting, magical Fashion that ranged from want-it-right-now to full-on fantasy. That’s how Jacobs likes his fashion — major. And he gives not a whit for the casualization frenzy. “I really don’t care if it’s new or old or modern or casual or dressy or whatever,” Jacobs said during a preview. “I think there are plenty of people dressing women to go to Starbucks. It’s not of interest to me. If you’re going to get dressed up, get dressed up. If you’re going to not get dressed, wear your sweats to go to Starbucks.”
Those who revel in getting dressed, right this way.
Jacobs approached this collection as an extension of fall’s “without the aggression, and high on pretty.” He worked in a glorious, mostly pastel palette inspired by the paintings of Genieve Figgis (whose exhibit “Flat Earth” opened tonight at Half Gallery) and breathtaking materials, from the most delicate silks and laces to feathers, lustrous lamés, mega sequins, tweeds — and a pop of yellow rubber for a coat.
He also continued fall’s exploration of volume in trapeze shapes, massive ruffles, pleated pants, bold shoulders, huge sleeves, enormous waist flowers, and on and on, with big-bigger-biggest a major takeaway. Yet an incomplete one, as here, Jacobs worked within fluid parameters (or no parameters), so that giant, frothy clown dresses easily shared the runway with long-overdue reduxes of his indulgent cashmere thermals and silk-and-cashmere ribbed knits. In fact, for all the wanton fashion overstatement, the surprise of this collection was the wealth of clothes to actually wear. Not convinced? Click through the run-of-show and pay attention: coats, jackets, slipdresses, a knitwear bounty, a barely there slipdress; divine, fluid evening gowns. (Of course, for women to wear the clothes, they have to make it into production and onto the selling floor, but that’s another story for another time.) Ditto, the best Collection bags Jacobs has shown in eons, and a serious array of shoes. And those metallic Stephen Jones boaters — they’re for only the most fashionable to wear, and for all to admire.
As for references, Jacobs’ multiple mood boards were not adorned with photos of oceans, flowers or architectural wonders. Rather, they featured favorite looks from those designers who have long inspired him and continue to do so: Saint Laurent, Chanel, Perry Ellis, Ossie Clark, Pierre Cardin. “That’s Uma Thurman’s mother in my favorite [James] Galanos dress ever,” Jacobs said, indicating one tear sheet, and then another. “I remember the WWD clip of this Halston collection, with the ruffles. I think it was spring ’80 or ’81. It’s all people whose work I love. And some of our own.”
Jacobs made it all his own, and brilliantly so. He knew it was good. “There’s so much that doesn’t excite me,” he said. “And when I get in the groove with my team, with [creative director of women’s] Joseph [Carter] and everyone, I remember why I love to do this. For this part [the show]. I do it because I love it.” There was much to love.