Fashion Weak

The search for cool, beyond Bryant Park

Marc Jacobs may sell his own label from his own little shops, but his empire is towering: Along with the several lines that bear his name, he's got the whole Louis Vuitton behemoth resting on his shoulders. Still, of all the American designers, he's the one who comes closest to evincing a European sensibility, in the sense that he might actually show pieces that could be considered "directional."

Be careful what you wish for: When the lights finally dimmed at the Jacobs show, more than an hour and a half late (this was due either to the tardy arrival of Beyoncé or to an errant dress, depending on who you talked to), there was a directional piece all right, but it was a heavy, mid-calf, bell-shaped skirt so unflattering it made even his stellar models look dowdy. (Just imagine how it'll look on you.)

Drinking in the atmosphere at Jeremy Laing
photo: Jennifer Snow
Drinking in the atmosphere at Jeremy Laing

When the show was over, Jacobs stepped out on the runway and mouthed, "Sorry," to the audience, in reference to the lateness of the hour. But he might also have been apologizing for the larger fashion system, which has thrown up its hands in the face of dumb and cool and tossed the stylish ball right back in the audience's court.

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