From the first sight of Marc Jacobs’ spooky paper cut-out set, to the runway that wound through the Lexington Armory like a yellow brick road, and seating tiered, wedding cake style, so everyone had a perfect view, we knew we were in for something extraordinary.
To toe tapping strains to ‘Who Will Buy This Wonderful Morning” (yes, the one from Oliver Twist) the models walked under surreally large furry hats ('Cat in The Hat' meets Kurt Cobain (said Jacobs) by Stephen Jones. On their feet: another riff on Dickens with stacked heeled shoes with big silver buckles.
For a city (make that a world) still mired in the grim realities of economic downturn, it was ten minutes of pure fashion fantasy and escapism.
New York is the capital of commercial realities. And on no other runways in the world can you see designers bending their creative powers to the will of the mighty dollar in quite the same way. It’s all about sales here. And those commercial realities (as important as he are, of course) often leave little room for creative flights of fancy. And to tell the truth, in a ten show per day schedule, that can get a bit same-y.
The fairytale set at Marc Jacobs's show
Riding to the rescue with a fairy tale set (designed by his artist friend, Rachel Feinstein) and a sing-along show tune, came Marc Jacobs with a show to eclipse all the tasteful tailoring and sports luxe.
Afterwards, I spoke to Ken Downing, fashion Director at Neiman Marcus which has stores in some of the most moneyed and conservative cities in America, about how he was going to sell it. ‘I’ll have no problem with that. That’s the fantastic thing about Marc. He entertains with a great show. But when you strip back the styling there are some very saleable things there.’
I spotted a great coat with fitted waist and cocoon shaped skirt in sparkly tweed, some gorgeous full skirted shifts, cool skinny cropped trousers under tailored pea coats with a dandy swagger. And I can guarantee you that there will be a run on thick scarves and kilt pins just like the ones Marc wrapped around the shoulders of all his winter coats.
by Paula Reed