NYFW: MARC JACOBS S/S2016

Marc Jacobs S/S 2016
Marc Jacobs S/S 2016

All of NYFW could have totally sucked (it didn’t) and the week would have still been worth it thanks to Marc Jacobs. Now that he’s jettisoned the Marc by Marc Jacobs label completely, he has nothing to distract his attention and the quality of tonight’s production showed us a detail-oriented Marc Jacobs we’ve not seen for several seasons. Welcome back, Marc! This is the costumer and showman we’ve been missing for three painfully long years!

The show was staged at the historic Ziegfeld Theatre, home of those famous follies, and had all the trappings of a major movie opening, including a red carpet entrance, popcorn and soda at the concession (in custom Marc Jacobs containers), a souvenir Playbill (look for ’em on ebay), and a thirty-piece jazz band. While people were “seated” everywhere, including the rope line along the red carpet, it was those actually inside the theatre that enjoyed the best show. The curtains went up, the lights went down, and the movie started with the “starlets” walking the red carpet just outside. The lights went up when the models came indoors, the music was loud and smokey, and the ambience was thick enough to cut.

Officially, the theme was “Beauty for Punk Princesses Who Stay Out Til Dawn” but let’s be totally honest here: this show was all about zombies. Okay, so they weren’t dripping in blood … yet. That might have messed up the samples. Still, zombie makeup, princesses who stay up all night, ya’ gotta admit the looks are pretty close to the same thing. Add the fact that most of the clothes were pulled directly from a Hollywood costume department labeled 1948 and these princesses really did look as though they’d just woken up from a sixty-year-plus dirt nap. It was delightfully different from all the yawn-inducing mediocrity we’ve seen this week.

When the collections hit stores next spring, you’re going to see an updated version of your great-grandmother’s high school wardrobe, with a few Hollywood gowns tossed in for fun. There will be varsity jackets and sweater vests and cute little sweaters with embroidered collars and shoulder pads and jeans with the cuffs rolled up to the calf. You’ll see a band uniform and a wild west rodeo outfit with enough fringe to choke a mule. There are boas and applique and screen-printed faces on robes and one dress that, so help me, looks as though it might have been made from recycled Target shopping bags.

Even better, Marc didn’t stick with the usual model lineup of size zero girls. These models had hips that shook and boobs that jiggled and a couple of them hadn’t seen a size two anything since they were four months old. If you’re not familiar with plus-sized model Beth Ditto, you will be now. She was loud and proud as she walked for Marc and I fully expect her picture to be all over everything by morning.

As for diversity, roughly a third of his looks were worn by non-caucasian models. Toss in his use of multiple plus-size models and we’ll give him a seven on our scale of ten. Like the show, it’s not perfect, but still so much better than most we’ve seen this week.

I could go on all night about the various elements found in this super-creative collection. If you can imagine it, it was probably in there somewhere. It’s been way too long since we’ve seen Marc put this kind of effort into his clothes. We’re very glad to have him back. We’ve missed this Marc Jacobs.


Photo credit: Marc Jacobs S/S 2016
More from charles i. letbetter

NYFW: ALEXANDER WANG A/W 2017

Everyone grows and changes over the course of their life and designers...
Read More