The models in Marc Jacobs’s show emerged en masse from the far side of the Park Avenue Armory tonight, spilling out of a small door and spreading to fill the cavernous space. A chorus line of brilliant color, sparkle, flower prints, and Stephen Jones chapeaux, they got closer and closer and eventually breezed right past the audience. For a brief moment some thought it was over before it began. Jacobs is just perverse enough to do it, but he had clearly taken too much pleasure in the making of this collection to not let it last.
His show came near the end of a Fashion Week cut from seven days to five by the new CFDA chairman, Tom Ford. Renaissance is too strong a word for the goings on here in New York, but the runways have felt revitalized—by the experiential approach designers are taking to their staging and by engaging clothes. This Jacobs collection was the capstone to that. And fun, too!
Jacobs has been a big proponent of fun lately. His Instagram feed is a lively mix of dog pics, throwbacks, selfies, and #OOTDs, each one more inspired and fabulous than the last. He was just named to Vanity Fair’s 2019 Best Dressed List, and no wonder. Few people take as much delight in dressing up as he does, and what a wardrobe: Demna Gvasalia’s Balenciaga, Prada, Rick Owens, the Savile Row tailor Huntsman—Jacobs gives props to them all and then some.
His new collection was sort of like Instagram’s #OOTD tag (275 million posts and counting) come to life. Jacobs has eclectic tastes and he let them roam far and wide here. There were odes to Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld, and to Shelley Duvall, Anita Pallenberg, and Ann Reinking in All That Jazz. Some of the models slinked across the Armory like a Bob Fosse dancer (props to choreographer Stephen Galloway). That attitude and sense of individuality was central to the collection’s magic. The last look, a long jersey dress with a lace back, was lifted from a famous Jeanloup Sieff photo of Marina Schiano, who died just this week.
In his program notes, Jacobs railed against design by “computer or the cloud or the transient archives of the internet.” Time marches on and the digital revolution will get all of us in the end, but that doesn’t mean we have to go down quietly. You know Jacobs won’t.
Photos are courtesy of Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com