Marc Jacobs is still the most exciting show at New York Fashion Week–I smiled the whole way through (and that’s a feat to get an editor to smile after working five 15+ hour days in a row).
For fall, Jacobs converted the Lexington Armory into a broken down Tim Burton-esque dream world of decaying castles and twisted turrets. According to New York, Jacobs’ approached sculptor Rachel Feinstein to design the set because he liked a piece she had done called Puritan’s Delight. He told her that his clothes were “starting to remind him of pilgrims, and kind of widows.” He told Feinstein that he wanted “no castles, no fairytales,” but “grottoes…the Marie Antoinette version of a ruin.” And that was just the set.
Here are the references that come to mind after taking in the collection: Dr. Seuss, the musical Oliver! (the soundtrack was comprised of variations on the soaring “Who Will Buy” from Oliver!, and yes, one model walked with a red rose as in “Who will buy my sweet red roses”), and pilgrims–of the 1600s Plymouth Rock Puritan variety. If Dr. Suess, Oliver’s street urchins, and pilgrims aren’t things that sound like they go together but somehow do, then you know you’re at a Marc Jacobs show.
First thing’s first on this collection: those hats. It was hard to pay attention to the clothes at first because models walked out wearing giant fluffy fedoras by Stephen Jones that completely dwarfed them. They looked Suessian to me and another editor sagely noted that they recalled one of Dionne’s looks from Clueless. A tweet from the Times‘ Eric Wilson confirmed the hats were inspired by the ’90s only it wasn’t Dionne who set Marc off. “Marc Jacobs on his furry Stephen Jones hats: ‘I wanted it to be like a fur coat but worn on the head,’” Wilson Tweeted. “And yes he was inspired by Jamiroquai.” Virtual Insanity!
Underneath those giant fur hats were some far less outlandish but directional clothes. Silhouettes emphasized a slightly exaggerated hip and like Dickens’ street urchins, models were layered up with big Shetland stoles and blanket jackets over capelets over coats over dresses over cropped pants all done in heavy thick fabrics like wool brocade and shiny wool lamé. And don’t forget the Puritan influence. The shoes were an unsubtle nod to those big clunky buckled loafers–but Jacobs’ come in shiny bright colors and prints and the buckles are done in crystals.
From the 1990s to the 1600s all in one look, that’s a trick only Marc Jacobs could pull off.