I was given a single set of instructions when I got to work today: Drop what you’re doing. Marc Jacobs takes absolute priority.
Well, of course he does. New York Fashion Week sort of revolves around his show, doesn’t it? There’s something about that little man in a skirt that keeps people tripping over themselves time and time again for things like ridiculously furry and floppy headwear. But more on that in a minute.
The problem is, it’s hard to actually enjoy photos from the Marc Jacobs show when you’re frantically trying to post them on the Internet before anyone else. It sort of makes you wonder how fashion was even possible 10 years ago when editors were still battling dial up connections. And after an hour of strategic planning where we carefully plotted who needed to be at a computer screen and who needed to be stationed at the Starbucks across from the 26th Street Armory to covertly intercept the photographer’s memory card and catch a rare cab downtown before hordes of showgoers emerged from the venue, we still got thrown off schedule by a twist no one saw coming: the show started on time.
But oh, the clothes. Even my editors in all their stressed out busyness stopped for a second to let themselves get swept away by the surreal storybook world Jacobs had created on the runway, complete with a moody Victorian silhouette looming in the background, modelesque mad hatters a la Alice and Wonderland and glossy metallic pirate shoes. Accessorized with oversized safety pins, the huge shapeless knits will likely flatter no one. The fuchsia top hats look like something you’d win at a carnival and yet, as my editor quipped, “I’m wearing one tomorrow.” It was fantastical. It didn’t make sense. And the fashion masses will love it. A feast for the eyes, certainly, but also an escape of sorts that fans will gladly incorporate into the ordinary aesthetic of every day life.
Critics have already cited Oliver Twist in attempt to pinpoint a single reference, but I couldn’t help but think of Miss Havisham from Great Expectations, who, broken by love, secluded herself in a crusty mansion, delusional in a wedding dress that never got to serve its purpose. For a full 15 minutes, Marc Jacobs also managed to blissfully deny reality and oh, it felt so good. Great expectations, indeed.
See the full show here.