Marc Jacobs is a man who follows his own fashion compass. While his contemporaries re-mine Manhattan’s 90s simplicity, Jacobs perused a decidedly different tack for Spring Summer 2014. Moments before the show - as if by personal decree - the heavens opened drenching editors high and lowly in a tropical deluge. Though we needn’t have worried about the damp because as soon we entered Jacobs’ sweltering dystopic catwalk-scape, evaporation immediately commenced.
Through our frizzy hair, we peered into Jacobs’ world, transporting us to a seaside town left to wrack and ruin. Dilapidated piers and walkways, foreboding scaled up lifeguard stands, easy chairs and errant tyres were all draped in both opera curtains and dappled blue light. A rusted out bus was on a destination to ‘DARK HOLLOWS’ while fusty Persian rugs created a patchwork flooring. Snaking in and around the decrepit structures was a catwalk of black sand and silica festooned with cigarette butts. Hardly the Costa del Sol.
Jacobs described his scene as a “lovely nightmare,” a fusion of operatic decadence and a gloomy road to nowhere. You might be thinking that none of this really reads Spring/Summer – if you so you’re spot on. Jacobs opened with a series of jacket and short combinations each of which were paired with sneakers. Heavily trimmed with what turned out to be upscale lampshade tassels, the jackets were exaggerated at the shoulder and cinched high at the small of the back. The proportion recalled the Victorian era, offering a striking juxtaposition with the Bermudas and trainers.
Marc Jacobs Spring Summer 2014 [Catwalking]
Victorian and Edwardian floor length dresses followed, each with unbelievably exquisite embellishment. “Everything was printed, appliqued, re-embroidered and trimmed,” Jacobs detailed, “I really felt that last season with all the surface interest that I wanted to go one louder, or 10 louder as the case may be. So we really just went to town.” Lace puff sleeves, viscose ruffles, high ruffed necklines and sequin embroidered macramé created dresses fit for a Wildean drawing room. Each look was paired with either a sneaker soled sandal or glitter covered, fringed booties. “I wanted it to be about girls that I know and love, who have no problem whatsoever with coming to work in a Victorian gown with Birkenstocks or a forties cocktail dress in the middle of the day with a pair of sneakers,” Jacobs explained.
So why the Victorians? “I thought a lot about people talking about newness and fabric development and to me the 1890’s [was when] viscose was invented. I think if you want to talk about new, man-made fabrics, that was something 120 years ago. So we used a lot of viscose.” But it wasn’t just the Belle Epoque; “Victorian, Edwardian, Thirties, Forties, it didn’t really matter. I took things from decorative elements…-I wanted it to be a real celebration of the decadent things you don’t need, things that draw the eye.” Shimmering, glittering and shining, Jacobs collection this evening certainly mesmerized.
The man himself with Christina Ricci [Grazia_Live Instagram]
Wintery nightshade hues of claret, navy, grey and black completely dominated this outing, so what of the gloomy colours for spring?” Again I looked around my office and I looked at my friends and thought about their wardrobes and they all wear navy, grey and black. It really doesn’t matter spring or summer –I don’t know one friend who dresses in all white. And most of them don’t wear pastels either. So it just felt right."