marc jacobs directs a mesmerizing movie extravaganza for spring/summer 16
Starring Beth Ditto, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajowski – for one night only!
The red carpet outside the Zeigfeld Theatre on 54th Street sparkled with what looked like tiny diamonds after the models finished their first lap of the Marc Jacobs show circuit last night. The heel from a pointed-toe Victorian boot had caught in a skirt covered entirely in Swarovski crystals and a thread of them had snapped and skittered across the walkway. As the models walked past again, the jewels sparkled under the light of flashing cameras.
It was a perfect footnote to the collection about long-forgotten New York glamor that Jacobs presented yesterday at Manhattan's oldest, grandest single-screen cinema. Inside, where everything was red velvet and gilt, frilly-aproned concession girls handed out popcorn in custom "Marc Jacobs" boxes printed with jaunty show girls' legs. And, total highlight: a version of MGM's roaring lion, starring Jacobs' now almost equally recognizable bull terrier, Neville, played to signal the show was about to begin.
True to the premiere traditions Jacobs was invoking, the models - led by flame-haired i-D cover girl Natalie Westling - walked down a covered red carpet before entering the theatre. Outside, they walked in silence - unfamiliar and eerie at a fashion show. Dressed in long sequin-encrusted skirts and tight 1940s sweaters with faux-moth-eaten holes - hair mussed, makeup running - they looked like ghostly screen idols who'd raided the costume department in the hopes of one last show.
While the magic of the collection -- and it was so magical! -- came from the sequins, frogging and feathers of golden-age movie getup, nothing felt straightforwardly costumey. Jacobs moved between roles freely -- from Rockabilly (a denim jacket embroidered with sequined patches) to college kid (varsity jackets and big band sweaters) to sailor (Emily Ratajowski's cropped navy suit) to femme fatale (so many beautiful gowns) -- and patchworked together a rich, nostalgic story of his own. The show was about showiness. And some of the most swoon-inducing details reflected on that. One handbag was beaded with little 3-D glasses, a refillable paper drink cup and popcorn made from clusters of tiny pearls.
Far and away the most Instagrammed part of the spectacle, though, was surprise star Beth Ditto. Which is saying something considering there were Neville Jacobs, a cast of supers and Bella Hadid in tiny satin showgirl shorts to contend with. The predictable Daily Mail headline "Beth Ditto shows off curvy figure at Marc Jacobs New York Fashion Week catwalk" ran last night, but it was refreshing and insanely beautiful to see Ditto's figure dressed in a way that really was both aiming and succeeding to show it off. Her ivory silk gown cut across her shoulders and daringly high up the thigh, stitched with sequined vines that highlighted the lines of her formidable physique. Like a true screen queen, no one could take their eyes off her.
Text Alice Newell-Hanson
Photography Jason Lloyd-Evans