marc jacobs on social media and lily-rose depp in chanel couture

The designer who first sent Kendall Jenner down the runway has been thinking a lot about spectacle and the live experience. Ahead of his fall/winter 17 show today, he explains why he's adopting a no-cellphone mandate.

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Feb 17 2017, 1:58am

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Nearly two years ago, we wrote about Lily-Rose Depp and the rise of the social media it-girl. Since then she's gone from the star of fan-made YouTube videos sourced from her friends' Vine footage to closing Chanel Haute Couture in a giant baby pink wedding gown. But Karl Lagerfeld's new muse is still the muse of the entire internet, and the viewing experience of scrolling through multiple regrams of his teen bride in pixelated pink was probably not the one he initially intended. At least that appears to be Marc Jacobs's take on the whole spectacle. And if there's anyone who knows spectacle as well as Karl, it's Marc.

Speaking to WWD ahead of his New York Fashion Week show today, Marc suggested that this outing would be far less dramatic than the rainbow rave he staged last season. The man who first sent Kendall Jenner down the runway (in a sheer top and with no eyebrows) seemed disenchanted with how "the Kendalls or the Gigis" have become a bigger talking point than the clothes. But there's one show moment that has really stuck in his mind.

"When I saw that beautiful couture Chanel gown I thought, 'Oh my God, what a gorgeous gown, and the amount of work and the beauty of that dress,'" he said. "Yet it seems that everybody was just talking about Lily-Rose Depp in it. The dress was just something on her rather than it being the thing itself. But that's just the world we live in. So to take clothes out of the context of how they're shown or the music they're shown to or the experience, it's so difficult. Everything is part of that experience."

Marc likened fashion shows to concerts and the theater, citing famous iPhone-phobe Prince's obsession with creative control and respect for the live experience. "I had the very big privilege of seeing Prince perform just before he died, on New Year's Eve in St. Barth's," Jacobs recalled. "Prince refused to start performing until everyone put their cell phones away. He said, 'I'm a live performer. I'm playing you music, and if you want this experience you put your cell phones away.'" So while the clothes he's showing today remain a secret, Marc's thoughts on the social media fashion show are pretty crystal. Coming from the man who seems to cast more Insta-famous friends in each new campaign, it's definitely food for thought. 

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Text Hannah Ongley