It seems that Marc Jacobs has hit the "refresh" button. After leaving Louis Vuitton last fall to focus on building his namesake empire -- and work his way toward a possible IPO -- changes have been afoot. You saw it in the new attitude of his secondary line, now called MBMJ, and, upon walking into the Lexington Armory on Thursday night to catch his main show, you knew you were going to see it there, too.
This was no bombed about beach. Gone were the elaborate sets of yore and in their place, just simple, fluffy clouds suspended from the ceiling. Everyone got front row, sitting on their own circular Styrofoam pods that made up endless aisles (those models got their workouts!). As the soundtrack started -- a hypnotic, spoken-word version of "Happy Days Are Here Again," voiced by Jessica Lange over rising, hopeful synths -- a model appeared in a simple scoop-necked ivory tank dress with matching leggings. With her pale blunt bob and nude headband, the effect was calming. Clean, pared back -- whatever you want to call it -- it was definitely, like, 10 times quieter than anything Jacobs has done in a long time.
Similar monochromatic looks followed, in a palette of beige, taupe and cornflower blue, that felt like some sort of space-age (but still very soft) uniform. Every piece -- tunics, keyhole dresses, henleys, more leggings -- appeared like it was designed to be mix-and-matched for easy dressing. Jacobs also served up shearling-trimmed bomber jackets (and later, full-on ombre'd versions painted in pretty pastels) paired with cropped pants in rich browns and tans. "Chic ski lodge" is what came to mind with those, and that's something that really never comes to mind during an MJ show.
In fact, save for a string of sparkly, crystal embellished dresses and some pieces given a "wow" factor with gorgeous ruffles of washed-out organza ruffles, the trickiness and design flash was kept to a minimum (although there were those fantastic silver-trimmed boots with strips of ostrich). That's to say, this collection actually felt wearable, maybe even verging on -- gasp! -- commercial.
It will be interesting to see if Jacobs continues down this path, one that seems primed to give his traditionally quirky -- and very directional -- woman an increasingly approachable feel that's more well-suited for the masses. Regardless, it was a beautiful respite nonetheless.
Click through to see the full collection.