“Dream a little dream of me,” sang The Mamas & The Papas. But it was a big, bold, magical, multi-coloured dream that Marc Jacob offered in his show, which closed the truncated New York season.https://www.instagram.com/p/B2Sq5d9n4ig/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=dlfixIn spite of some fine presentations in a minor key, this was the first moment that the fashion season crackled with life, with Jacobs describing the show as “a celebration of life, joy, equality, individuality, optimism, happiness, indulgence, dreams, and a future unwritten as we continue to learn from the past and the history of fashion, exploring iconic images of the designers we love.”
Wow! What a statement for a show held on the sombre day of remembrance for the 11th of September 2001, with its painful memories of the attack on New York City 18 years ago.
As the show started, the drab background burst with vivid, colours, as if in a fairy tale. But this was for real. Jacobs referenced masters from the past, such as the work of Yves Saint Laurent and even the late Karl Lagerfeld’s years at Chanel. There were other elements of haute couture. And the designer let rip, creating a magical word that seemed like an ode to joy.
The collection was an iridescent and intensely coloured version of reality. The vivid greens and hot pink, the sunshine yellow and the vermilion, were applied to simple, streamlined outfits. The trouser suit – a memory of Seventies flower children growing up and becoming power women in the Eighties – was re-configured as easy daywear. Only those colours and the rich fabrics separated them from what might have been dusted down from a closet or picked up in a different thrift shop.
Whimsical hats by Stephen Jones added to the sense of magic – headwear having infiltrated the Marc Jacobs collections a few seasons ago.
You could see the clothes as some kind of technicolour dream, but they were also fine pieces to wear, such as trousers that were as taut as the dresses were layered and loose. There were also simple pieces made vivid through colour, like a fitted jacket in Yves Klein monochromatic blue worn with floral trousers. Each time, the cut and shape controlled the wild patterns and vivid shades.
Creative Director at Louis Vuitton in Paris for 17 years, the designer is far more sophisticated than his American peers. But this show went deeper than just technical skill.
A programme note included a description of the show that Jacobs sent out 18 years ago – the night before the fateful 9/11. That Seventies Flower Child inspiration made the show seem, in retrospect, all the more poignant.
“Tonight is our reminder of the joy in dressing up, our unadulterated love of fashion, and embracing grand gestures or unbridled expressions, reactions, ideas, and possibilities,” the designer said.
Poetic words from Jacobs. Yet most significant was the collection he had put together with skill, but also with love.