Marc Jacobs Fall 2011 Line Sheet Notes:
- vinyl berets with chin straps - polka dots throughout (even in 3-D incarnations) - movement-hindering pencil skirts - boxy tops, sometimes on backwards - jabots - '40s meets the future - couture lines - Marilyn Manson's "The Beautiful People" - wedged rubber snow boots
I felt a little crazy after seeing Marc Jacobs fall 2011 show and I think that was the point. The runway was set against a tufted white vinyl padded wall, tufted columns in the same material lined the runway, and line sheets were in red velvet envelopes. At first I thought the set was supposed to conjure up the booth of some swank night club or restaurant from decades past but when the first model out started clomping down the runway at breakneck speed in a backwards polyester shirt and rubber trousers, a stiff round beret secured with a cashmere chin strap, and Marilyn Manson's "The Beautiful People" began to play, I started to think the padded walls were more asylum-chic than anything else.
The masterful mindfuckery continued from there--a complete about face from the wistfully romantic and subdued collection he presented for fall last year. Models came down the runway in rapid succession, never mind the fact that their uber-tight pencil skirts restricted them to tiny strides. While the prevailing silhouette recalled the '40s with a dash of Victorian--high-waisted pencil skirts and ultra-tailored dresses with oversized pockets at the hip or peplums to emphasize tiny waists, cap sleeves, open backs and jabots--the materials were brand new, futuristic even. There were boxy sweaters in "sequin to-look-like fur" over pencil skirts in "rubber to-look-like sequin." Luxe materials like crocodile, lamb, sheared fox, sheared beaver and cashmere were mixed with fake crocodile, cellophane, and polyester. Even some of the ladylike guipure dresses were covered in plastic cabochons (read: balls--I needed a dictionary to get through Jacobs' line sheets) which looked like Styrofoam packing balls stuck all over with static cling. These "cabochons" were just one of many versions of polka dots that ran throughout the collection--most everything was spotted in one way or another (a symptom of the madness?). And to add another reference point, Jacobs used jabots under tailored embroidered blouses and cocktail dresses, a little detail that hearkens back to the 18th century.
The collection was wildly imaginative, more than a little twisted, and despite the madness of it all, there are lots of wearable pieces if you sift through it. I could see the rubberized leather mid-calf wedges (the "galosh") becoming "it" shoes--especially if we have another winter like this one. I loved the glamorous fitted floor-length glitter spotted double-faced crepe skirts that closed the show and the guipure lace dresses cut a flattering, elegant silhouette. And who can resist the simplicity of a well-cut white blouse, the foundation for many of Jacobs' looks, albeit in polyester?
**All photos: IMAXTREE