Cloudy With a Chance of Chic
Marc Jacobs has brought us train stations. He’s brought us pastel carousels, fantastical paper castles and latex bondage rooms. For his Fall/Winter 2014 show, however, Jacobs took us to the clouds with a collection that was as ephemeral as it was focused.
Arguably, the set to a Marc Jacobs show is equally important to that of its fabricated counterpart. This season was no exception. Marshmallowy clouds installed by long time collaborator Stefan Beckman hung from the ceiling of the Armory, casting an uncanny glow down the runway. The real message here wasn’t in the clouds, but revealed in Jessica Lange’s voiceover of “Happy Days Are Here Again”, the Depression-era song that Judy Garland invited a young Barbra Streisand to sing on her show in 1963. That too made for an important impact: the clouds over Marc Jacobs’ body of work have been firmly pushed out of the way, and happy days are indeed here again.
And there’s a reason for that. His first collection since his departure as creative director at Louis Vuitton, a position he held for over a decade and a half, the idea of clarity seemed to resonate within the clothing he showed. Simple, but certainly not minimalist. Not only that, he’s no longer responsible for his younger line Marc by Marc Jacobs, whose recent stellar outing by design dream team Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier proved to be its own important entity.
It started with stripping away the elaborate embellishment from last season and working with a clean, elongated silhouette. Often done in brown, tan, pewter, a light, dusty blue and the palest of pinks, the shapes were as simple as tank dresses, often worn with knit pants that pooled around sneakers or instead mid-calf boots.
At times they morphed into long sleeve tunics or henley style dresses, sometimes worn with a similar knit pant or matching skirt. They had a strong sense of emotion, but also of the future. With their pastel bobs cut perfectly square to the face and accentuated with a fabric headband, the models seemed to belong to some future metropolis of fashion robots on planet chic.
The best part of the show was the fur bomber jackets done in pastel dégradé that effortlessly mimicked a winter sunset. Worn with a slit skirt and a long scarf, they had the same vivacity as some of Jacobs’ earlier work for not only his own house, but also Vuitton.
And if the embodiment of sophistication was ever present in a dress, then it was in the hand-painted organza ruffles laid delicately onto bitterly sweet dresses. They offered a nice, relaxed feel to the shows intense focus.
And without any effort, they summed up the show perfectly: onwards and upwards!