It is thrilling to come face to severely decorated venue with the last show of New York Fashion Week and to think to yourself: This review is going to write itself. Because ultimately, to experience Marc Jacobs, you don’t need to see the clothes so much as you do understand the nuances of his performative aptitude and last night, that meant acknowledging the simultaneous smarts and evil of the prodigious designer.
Invited partisans began insouciantly Instagramming photos of their invitations (which all revealed the humble brag heard ’round the Internet: a front row seat), at 10AM yesterday. By 2PM, every photo uploaded displayed the abundant Row 1 delegated seats and by 7:45, when I arrived at the Lexington Avenue Armory for the show, it made perfect sense. This season, everyone was important. Everyone would sit front row on a spacious styrofoam cushion.
The evil here is in understanding that in order to accommodate so many prime seats, the runway was multiplied, boasting a six-aisle runway between the cushions that were balanced by the suspended pillow-like clouds that met at eye-level with the models that would begin walking promptly at 8PM.
At 7:59, a soundtrack that continuously pronounced the same phrase, “Happy days are here again” began inflecting in the same the way that a bedtime affirmation of good deeds and change might. Were these words a testament to Marc Jacobs’ relief from Louis Vuitton and Marc by Marc Jacobs? Maybe. Because just two days earlier, Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley accrued an empathically glowing response to their debut collection for Jacobs’ more approachable line.
And why wouldn’t they?
In trying to strip away the previous intimations tethered to Marc by Marc Jacobs, Hillier and Bartley understood that they’d have to start from the bottom to create a new, clear vision of their girl. In doing so, they seem to have surmised that she couldn’t be exemplified using just one girl. Why? Because even though she’s inclined to roll-up her sleeves and get dirty — perhaps even drag race if that 25th hour in the day finally comes around — she can also not just keep up with the tea-length skirt wearing, bow loving Joneses next door, but offer them a bite of advice on how to keep up with her.
To convey the message of the two polarizing-yet-compatible identities through a series of looks that are enmeshed instead of distinctly separated would have missed the point of relaunching a collection that has strayed too far from its roots, and the only thing that tethered the new child to its evolving parent — Marc Jacobs’ main collection — was a headband.
In the case of Thursday night, said headband concealed the ears of all Jacobs’ models, presenting a fresh forehead that mirrored a fresh outlook utilizing several of the sweeping motifs of the season. Knits, knits, knits, for one thing. Dresses worn over pants and thermals for another. Boots were short-heeled, sneakers were chunky, and the color palette looked something like a setting sun on a desert horizon.
The closing looks sold sparkle and mille-feuille layers of tonal chiffon and by the time the dresses disappeared and reappeared for their final curtsey, the flashing phones were almost blinding. Photographs were being taken from the hierarchy-debunking vantage points of the spectators and when Marc Jacobs appeared from behind the set to take his bow and wave his arm, manic applause ensued.
Indeed, it seems, happy days are here again.