Today Marc by Marc Jacobs show marked the opening of a new chapter for the 13 year old brand as two stalwarts of the London Fashion Week scene, Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier revealed their debut collection. While Katie has worked at the brand for more than a decade looking after bags and licensed products (and has also supremely successfully created handbag lines for brands including Victoria Beckham), this collection marks Luella’s first foray into fashion since her own line closed in 2009.
What we saw over the course of 38 a looks was a whole new attitude for the label with an energy and youthful dynamism which immediately sets the all-new MBMJ apart. A mashup of references from traditional Japanese, Manga comics, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, dirt bike and BMX racing conspired to offer a serious visual menu.
Those oriental references rang loud, but were never clichéd. The buttoned up primness created with the additions of turtlenecks, Wednesday Adams plaits and fastened collars suggested Japanese modesty while more contemporary notes were made with anime plays on the MBMJ logo and with ninjas embroidered onto the backs of jackets and jeans (these totally screamed must-have). A sober palette, dominated by black, white, grey and red highlights pointed to the land of the rising sun.
Marc By Marc Jacobs Autumn Winter 2014 [Getty]
Adding to the melange were motorsport references including shirts fashioned into a racing suit silhouette complete with rounded shoulders and voluminous sleeves, and flashy logos which read like track ads (‘Truckz’, ‘Twisted’, ‘Rally’). The final six looks were most ‘Luella’ – fans will recognise her signature off-kilter girlishness in the huge lurex, tulle and satin skirts and capelets with dramatic bows at the neckline while elsewhere pencil skirts and clashing checks and gingham kept the femininity intact.
As for Katie’s speciality, bags were youthful too with red stripe totes, a beautiful messenger in a plaid between windowpane and tartan and a host of winter white arm candy. As well as the boots, stacked trainers looked straight out of Marty McFly’s Back to the Future closet and were yet another sure-fire hit with the hip customer, MBMJ is now well-equipped to serve. Brava ladies!