Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Love to love you, baby...

Marc Jacobs

One can always rely on Marc Jacobs to provide a solid jolt of electricity when fashion week is off to a slow start. It's not that the collections shown so far have been bad necessarily, it's just that most of them have been lacking a point of view. I guess it's not really a surprise that Marc's should stand out; it's just about as different from everything else that's been shown this week as it could possibly be. Everyone else is showing tons of white and barely-there pastels, Marc goes all out with rich jewel and spice tones. Everyone else does sharp, streamlined silhouettes, Marc does volume. And while I wouldn't go so far as to call the collection maximal, compared to the recent movement towards minimalism fashion has been experiencing there was a sense of frivolity and fun on Marc's runway that I just don't think you can achieve when you're stripping clothing down to their most basic form. I don't think this collection is such a departure from the beautifully restrained collection Jacobs showed last season. Yes this is louder and far more extroverted, but just like last season the focus here is primarily on the clothes. There's nothing conceptual about it, no message to decode, no figuring out what is and isn't meant for retail. Really the only difference, except for the surface stuff like color, shape and fabrication, is the mood. In that way this collection is last season's polar opposite. Whereas fall was sedate, soulful and romantic spring is sexy, vibrant and very, very glam.

While I was watching the live feed I kept thinking of "The Beautiful Fall", author Alicia Drake's non-fiction account of Karl Lagerfeld's and Yves Saint Laurent's individual but parallel rises to fame, a large part of which took place in Paris during the early 70s. In the book there is quite a cast of supporting characters, including model Donna Jordan who was something of a muse to both Lagerfeld and illustrator Antonio Lopez, and whose look must have inspired this collection to some degree. I also see bits of Donna Summer, Loulou de la Falaise, Pat Cleavland, Bianca Jagger and Jodie Foster's character in "Taxi Driver", not to mention vintage Saint Laurent and Chloe designed by Lagerfeld himself. Those are just the references I myself can spot, I'm sure I'm missing some. It's no surprise that the clothes are unmistakably retro when you can see style icons of the decade so clearly in the show, but that doesn't really bother me. Maybe it's because this particular look that calls to mind the transitional period between the early 70s bohemian and late 70s disco eras isn't something that's been big on the fashion landscape recently. There have been hints of it in stores with items like high-waisted flared denim and printed maxi dresses, but it hasn't been a main theme in fashion of late. Even though a lot of the clothes are fairly literal interpretations of the past I can still see a great deal of them appealing to women of today. Of course the styling, from the frizzed out Bourdin hair and vampy makeup to the flower and feather chokers and those fantastically kitschy parasol hats, really help make the look as fabulous as can be, but I accept the fact that those things probably won't catch on with the public. All in all this was a wonderful shot of energy in what's been a fairly lifeless New York season so far.

all images from style.com

1 comment:

LOla said...

This collection was the funniest in this Season because, you can see inspirations of Sonia Rykiel,YSL and Missoni but, it's almost better than them (except for Missoni).
I see the CHLOE by Lagerfeld reference but for a lot of people it's more easy to think about YSL!
It's full of colors, Joy and a kind of "erotisme exotique". The interpretation of this area is a little bit too literal but what can you say when it's perfect..

In fact, every season, i have the feeling that the Marc Jacobs of the "LOUIS VUITTON & MARC JACOBS" documentary is gone...