Marc Jacobs Turns the Volume Back Up for Fall 2015

The designer put on one of the scariest runway shows we've ever seen, and we loved every minute of it.
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Dhani Mau
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The designer put on one of the scariest runway shows we've ever seen, and we loved every minute of it.
Nightmares. Photo: Imaxtree

Nightmares. Photo: Imaxtree

Marc Jacobs got his mojo back. After a couple of quieter collections — fall 2014’s minimalist, monochromatic refresh and spring 2015’s utilitarian-melancholia, the beloved designer got really loud for fall 2015. And we’re not just talking about the truly scary, stress-inducing music, which was quite blaring and was a perfect choice for the vibe Jacobs was trying to get across.

Obviously only Jacobs knows what was going on in his head — well, him and whomever he told (probably Sofia Coppola) and reporters with access to him. But the feeling I got was like maybe a bunch of really tall people got locked into a fancy party at a mansion around the turn of the century, put their hair in top knots because they were over it, eventually starved to death, then came back to life on Thursday and walked up and down a runway before they went off to murder everyone. Currently, they might be soaring through New York’s heavy winds on broomsticks. Things that contributed to this feeling: The exaggerated topknots, which made the models’ necks look freakishly long; the casting, which leaned away from traditionally pretty, all-American girls and towards the more severe (Kendall Jenner was interestingly the only celebrity model used); the music and the set, which looked like a derelict mansion — or Diane Vreeland’s apartment, according to Vanessa Friedman. Indeed, the iconic former Vogue editor was one of Jacobs’ points of inspiration for the collection.

Though Vreeland died shortly after Jacobs launched his business, he wrote the forward of her book “Allure,” in which he mentioned “the frivolity, the grandiosity, the decadence, hedonism, arrogance of fashion” as things that “became kind of charming in Mrs. Vreeland’s hands.” It was clearly in that spirit that Jacobs designed his fall 2015 collection; all those qualities were there. Even the most subdued looks — librarian-chic plaid dresses — had strips of black sequins and most looks were paired with black gloves and patent leather black shoes that felt somehow deviant. Jacobs was heavy-handed with beading — done beautifully on everything from otherwise simple, pleated A-line skirts and dresses, to trims on coats — and embroidery. Coats with fur lapels and sparkly black embroidered panels were amongst the show’s most impactful pieces. For the most part, the color palette was dark — the long coats and skirts in blacks and navys felt very "Downton Abbey"-in-mourning, but there were a few bright spots, like a pink coat with embroidery along the trim, paired with a mustard yellow full skirt and a luxurious skunk fur stole, natch. From opulent furs to grommeted wool, there was a lot to love in the way of statement outerwear. There was also a lot of weird ‘20s-tinged eveningwear that we pray makes it to the Oscars.

On their own, the clothes were stunning and quite wearable, and the shoes truly covetable, but Jacobs seemed set on making them look deranged with extremely tall models like Molly Bair (6’1”) and Sarah Abney (5’11”) walking awkwardly in them down the runway. The latter seemed to creepily linger as she closed the show, the music getting louder, more suspenseful…a moment none of us in the audience will soon forget.

This may have been a #dark collection, but it was also brilliant, thereby giving everyone a much-needed end-of-fashion-week jolt of energy…and terror. Like, I’ll most likely have nightmares. Night guys!