nyfw: marc jacobs’ spring/summer 15 fashion fairytale
"The idea was to decorate clothes."
Photography Mitchell Sams
Editors scurried to their seats at last night's Marc Jacobs show at six on the nose, their heels crunching across the hot pink gravel surrounding a massive pink cartoon house. Anticipation was high for Marc's first spring/summer show since leaving Vuitton to concentrate on his own line, and the individual Beats by Dre headphones at each seat added to the buzz. As the first strains of the Steve Mackey mixed soundtrack played, each audience member entered her own private fashion fantasy. A robotic voice narrated an absurdist script in the style of John Smith's 1976 experimental short 'The Girl Chewing Gum.' As Marc told i-D after the show, "Once you leave the streets of New York and you come into a venue and you look at a fashion show, it's this little piece of theatre."
Marc's army of Playmobil-wigged women wore military and scouting uniforms, elevated through lush fabrics and embellishment. Geometric guipure lace edging and ton-sur-ton buttons decorated pieces in navy, olive, beige. According to Marc: "We were looking at surplus colours, army colors, workwear colours, and we just lightened the palette of things that were quite drab and dreary. It's that fairy tale of taking something and spinning it into this thing that's fashion. Telling a tale, or this little escape."
"The idea was to decorate clothes," he continued. "The buttons on pockets, badges that indicate rank. We looked at the Brownies and girl scouts - one receives more decoration the more they achieve. we looked at it and looked away, and then we simplified everything." The result was a truly inspired take on one of fashion's favourite themes. Much in the same way that classic vanilla can serve as a barometer for ice cream's quality, if you can make military exciting again then you win the fashion game.
The meeting of fantasy and functionality was especially effective in the accessories, from velvet and glitter Dr. Scholl's-inspired exercise sandals to cross-body canteen bags and one very, very covetable backpack. Army has always worked in the city because of its practicality. Pockets, durability and comfort are as essential to crossing Houston at rush hour as they are in the field.
Beyond the desirability of the pieces, this was a show rife with ideas. Like an army, or a scout troop, we all start out equal, so what makes us individuals? It's our thoughts, our achievements, our perspectives. Of the runway show, Marc said, "What's most important is what the audience sees and each individual sees in it. We wanted to isolate everybody and put them in these headsets. You can't see across to the other side of the audience, you've got these sounds in your ears, and you're looking at the clothes: what do you think?"
So what do you think?
Text Rory Satran
Photography Mitchell Sams