My work as a fashion scribe has furnished me with more than a mere understanding of what is and what is not fashion, and why. Among many other things, working on three national newspapers and two fashion magazines over a 14 year period has given me an almost psychic ability to see the next big thing coming at me like a juggernaut.
When first beginning my biannual Big Analysis of the season following the catwalk shows (for new readers this is my total geek out - my very own Grand Theft Auto dark-room experience) there are obvious trends waving at me like red roses from a garden. Blooming obvious and pretty as hell that they are, these first-look trends are never, ever the whole story of a season. There are always the unexpected street trends, and the catwalk slow burners. Often these are the trends that relate to the shape of our clothes, and these matter long-term in the mechanics of how we put together an outfit.
Marc Jacobs is a designer who starts tipping the apple cart long before said apples in that cart tip over into popular culture/consumption. (Bear with me). This season he had a very definite message which he communicated like semaphore out to his audience, using each of the three collections he creatively directs.
Can you see it? I've given you a clue already, so it should not be hard.
MARC BY MARC JACOBS AW10
Of course, what I am talking about is the below knee hemline. I totally admire the way Marc made it the motif of each of his three collections without making them look at all samey. While Marc by Marc felt contemporary, Marc Jacobs echoed the 1920s and 30s and Louis Vuitton channelled the late 50s early 60s.
Banish thoughts that this length is frumpy.
There is something so elegant and new-looking to this hemline. The modest display of leg is both tantalisiing and supremely flattering. We know Marc Jacobs is into it. Missoni and Ferragamo are dabbling in it. As for me, I love it, and happily it is already catching on amongst the fashion forward. (I didn't think I would have street-evidence of this trend for months, but I do). Yesterday while enjoying a totally inspirational afternoon at Brick Lane market I spotted quite a few girls wearing the new length, asked to photograph them and dropped to my knees to snap their hemlines prompting strange looks and general amusement.