I have been having a heck of a hard time trying to get a review written of the Marc Jacobs show. I don't quite know what to say about it, because I don't quite know what he's trying to say. Reviewers are reporting that Jacobs says he was inspired by the ballet and by musical theater, and also that he's tired of the downtown Goth look of black leather and studs that's been ubiquitous for a couple of seasons now. He wanted to give women more opportunities to express their individuality, he said. He just had fun, he said.
Is all of this designer-code for, "I dunno. I just threw a bunch of stuff out there"?
No, I don't really believe that. Jacobs is too thoughtful a designer for that. I think he's capable of truly great, truly groundbreaking design. I don't think this collection is it.
I couldn't even get a really good handle on how to present it to you. There were some great tailored coats
(LOTS of ruffles)
I wanted to like the ruffles, but these
And don't even get me started on the shoes from this show
There were certainly some things I liked. There was a short sequence of looks where I felt like I was beginning to get my bearings a bit.
This jacket, however
I also really liked a section of long, handkerchief-y dresses
Love the suspension neckline on this, and the fabric, and the droplets of pearls around the edge. I think that's lovely. I like them in spite of their asymmetrical hems because the dresses aren't about the hemlines, the hemlines are just part of the dresses, and I like the movement and lightness it gives them. He played even more with the embellishment
Again, I think I'm responding more to the cleverness of the way the sequins were used than the actual garment. And even more so here
Wow. That's just... wow. I love open-work, and sequins, and sheerness...
I hate the shape of those pants, and the gimmicky use of underwear. You are going to see a LOT of this in fashion magazines this winter, the editors are going to lose their stiletto-clad shit for this. I do not think you will see it anywhere else.
The editors are right, really, whether or not you want to wear the actual clothes. When the history of fashion for this era is written, Marc Jacobs is going to be an important name, but his influence can take a long time to trickle down into the mainstream. Is he ahead of the curve? Is he just lucky? Or does his influence have more to do with his endless capacity for self-promotion than his design talent? I don't know the answer to that. I do know that I often really love Marc Jacobs' designs. I also often don't like them much at all, and don't understand what he's trying to say with them. You can say, Oh, it's just fashion, why does it have to "say" anything? But if you view fashion design as an art form (and I do), you can't help but look for some sort of cohesion in the artist's vision. The great thing about fashion as an art form is that its artists have a chance to either scrap what they were doing and start off completely fresh every season (Miuccia Prada), spend a lifetime ongoingly refining and elaborating a defining vision (Ralph Rucci) or something in-between. Looked at with a long, looooong lens, Marc Jacobs' trajectory makes sense to me, with a few loops backward and forward as he goes. I think he does have a vision, but I don't think he's necessarily working toward something; I think there's a good deal of spaghetti-against-the-wall stuff going on. That indecisiveness gives me a little aesthetic indigestion sometimes, but that's probably more my issue than his.
This was the last exit in the show. It's a dress I'm not really crazy about as a dress, but I do adore the effect of it.
Like scribbles on tissue paper. Beautiful. As with so many things Jacobs has made, I don't want to wear it, but I do like looking at it.
I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get this review up, and that I haven't gotten more out there about the runway shows happening. It takes me a while to write these silly posts -- longer, I'm sure, than their merit justifies, and I'm having a busy week or two right now. Please bear with me, I'm hoping to get some serious work done over the weekend.