Sunday, November 18, 2007

Marc Jacobs: Con Artist

Whoever put together the video on the Marc Jacobs website - bravo.

The quick cuts and handheld feel capture the preparation frenzy of New York Fashion Week. With all the behind-the-scenes construction and preparation and organization and boring details that it takes to pull off such an extravaganza.

But it also captures, in all its misguided splendor, the Marc Jacobs Spring/Summer 2008 collection designs.

Loved the multi-tiered runway set. But the clothes didn't do it justice.

First, there is the range of ridiculous hats and headpieces . . . I mean, one poor girl has a miniature bicycle wheel sticking out of her forehead, for crying out loud.

And then there's the see-through, lace-skirted ball gowns, funereal suits, colors straight out of 60s and 70s palettes. One dress resembled a toga'd white bed sheet that had been used to clean out a chimney.

It was as if Jacobs took real clothes from the Salvation Army and chopped them up to make his collection. The overall effect? Thrift-shop chic, without the chic.

And the obligatory trudging, dour models with Brillo hair that had been teased and sprayed and tangled into a giant pouf of a helmet? They all look extremely annoyed. Who could blame them? I know exactly what they were thinking: "How am I going to get all these knots out of my hair?"

Fine, he did a show that was "backward," taking his bow before the show started and opening with the run of show to kick things off, instead of marching through the entire range of looks at the end.


This reeks of a man who's trying to cover up the fact that the emperor has no clothes. I'd love to know what Carine Roitfeld really thought, when she congratulated Jacobs afterward.

It's a collection done by a man with too many yes-men. Either that, or a man who wants to get fired.

They say wearability isn't the point at this level.

But even if you're designing couture, where the emphasis is on the designer's vision and the creative story for his line that season, they're still clothes. Clothing meant to be worn by women without inciting mockery.

So shouldn't they be wearable?

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