Style & Fashion

New York Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week reviews: Marc Jacobs

The Daily Beast

February 17, 2017

New York Fashion Week ended, as it began for this reporter, with a blast of cold air. Thirty-six degrees in Manhattan, and arriving a few minutes late outside the imposing hull of the Armory arts venue, spanning the girth between Park and Lexington avenues, I saw Marc Jacobs’s models—who had moments before proceeded between rows of editors sitting in two long lines—now outside, lounging and sitting on fold-out chairs, snapping those who usually snapped them on their own phones.

Inside, editors had been forbidden from taking pictures of the show. In their first moments being seen, Jacobs wanted to control how his clothes were seen.

The models wore Stephen Jones hats, which Jacobs wrote in his notes, “take their cues from the haberdashery and elegance of Andre 3000.” To this viewer they seemed like Space Age cloche, a style-dome, speaking of the King’s Road, circa 1966; David Bailey snapping a model at the traffic lights, leaning at a jaunty angle.

But the 1960s was not the intended historical impetus for Jacobs. He said he had been inspired by hip-hop, and particularly the Netflix documentary Hip-Hop Evolution. “This collection is my representation of the well-studied dressing up of casual sportswear,” he wrote. “It is an acknowledgement and gesture of respect for the polish and consideration applied to fashion from a generation that will forever be the foundation of youth culture street style.”

The theater and originality of Jacobs’s show was appropriate given its performance venue setting, and featured star models like Kendall Jenner and Winnie Harlow. Katy Perry, Lil’ Kim, and This Is Us star Mandy Moore were among the audience.

There were beautiful fur coats over short dresses, very slouchy trousers and sweaters, and one very relaxed, blood-red tracksuit. Preppy, fitted tartan jackets, with frisky fur trims, made this spectator think Cher from Clueless was about to appear.

The art of both the clothes and presentation was intertwined: playful and precise, boho and self-consciously glamorous.

There were extravagantly flared trousers, loose, zip-up cardigans, a golden mini-skirt, a metallic blue jersey dress flecked with gold. Later came richer colors like a plum jacket (trimmed with shearling) and trousers worn by Jenner, and a beige coat with a vivid blood-red trim.

On the models’ feet were calf-length boots, platform loafers, and chunky, platform boots.

Other striking outfits played with layering and two-tone browns and beiges, and one belted coat came with fur not just around the neck but as muffs on both sleeves. Oh, to be hugged by someone wearing that coat.

Jacobs’s imaginative show closed Fashion Week, with—in a neat piece of circularity—the models photographing the photographers, journalists, bloggers, and general gawkers of this colorful circus. The watched had turned on the watchers.

Lucky for them, they also enjoyed the benefit—which photographers rarely do—of sitting beneath heat lamps.