Marc by Marc Jacobs' SS12 show felt especially poignant yesterday. As the crowd built up inside the Lexington Armory, whispers about Dior could be heard in every section and every row. The minimal set of a plain white runway and backdrop were especially stark compared to Marc's famously elaborate sets and antics. From 7:30 to 8pm all guests were ushered in and seated, without any ruckus occurring when Elle Fanning, Carine Roitfeld, and Robert Duffy took their seats in the front row. It was as though everyone knew that come this time next season, Marc Jacobs would be married to his deadlines at Dior, and thus less likely to be as attached design-wise and presentation-wise to MxMJ's flounced peplums and plastic visors.
But let's get to the clothes. They too had taken a breather. In a season of designers vying to make the craziest print, Marc by Marc Jacobs presented an almost entirely solid-colored collection. (Save for a handful of red, white, and blue stripes and an abstract pink floral on black silk.) The tone of the collection was minimal, sporty, and athletic with bright anoraks, saturated hues, and a loose fit to most garments. Lest all the novelty be lost, multi-colored sneakers, plastic visors, and a tee reading "MJ NY12" made sure that the audience knew we were at a Marc by Marc Jacobs fashion show, not a posh, minimalist swim club. Speaking of swim, the swimwear on display (three red and navy one-pieces) struck the perfect balance between sassy and classy. Same goes for the majority of the dresses, which came in boxy cuts or with a sweet little peplum that will be a hit with MxMJ's shoppers of all ages.
Even with the few notes of quirk, everything about the presentation was decidedly less. Less accessories, less makeup, less fuss. In one sense it was refreshing to go to a Marc Jacobs show and find everyone behaving like adults, looking at adult clothes, but on the other hand, Marc by Marc Jacobs isn't a brand about maturity or minimalism, it's about fun. When the show ended Marc took a two second bow, after which the crowd bolted outside so quickly you'd think Tommy Ton was doing a free photoshoot on the sidewalk. Elle Fanning and Robert Duffy disappeared backstage, a place where Marc was apparently too busy to receive Anna dello Russo and Carine Roitfeld, who exited the armory just behind me, wondering about what was keeping Marc occupied. The only celebrity anyone flocked to was Terry Richardson, who obliged all parties looking for a "thumbs-up" photo. (Myself included!) Lucky for us a lingering Terry meant a lingering "O.Z." as Terry called him, Olivier Zahm.
I followed Olivier outside where he was giving an extensive interview to another reporter, and Terry was trying to get away from the hoards of 20-somethings looking for a photo. Olivier dished that he knew for a fact that Marc was going to Dior. He seemed surprised that we didn't know for sure. After finishing with reporter #1, I had a chance to chat with Olivier for a moment before Terry called out for him and they were off into the night.
Fashionista: So how do you think Marc will do at Dior? Olivier Zahm: I think he will do good, because he has a real sense of fashion and he knows fashion history. He will refresh the vision of Dior. And it's not easy because Dior is not an easy brand. John Galliano did a great job because he was extravagant and totally multicultural, but I think Marc will give a more contemporary vision of the brand.
Tell me, what did you think of today's collection? Do you think it was Dior-worthy? I loved it! I loved it because it was fresh, energetic, and very visual. And I love the fluoro orange and pink. It was so simple and so, like, sporty and quite well cut and simple. This simplicity is refreshing. I had a good impression of something joyful too.
Random question: What's your favorite thing to do while you're in New York? Dancing.
With Terry? With Terry, sometimes.
So there you have it, Marc Jacobs modernity is the new road for Dior.