Could there be anything more thrilling to the Fashion Week crowd than waiting for a Marc Jacobs show to start? The excitement had been mounting all week with talk that Jacobs was in negotiations to take over at Dior after the departure of John Galliano. Adding to the anticipation was the fact that worry over shipment delays due to Hurricane Irene had pushed back his show from early in the week to the very last time slot, Thursday at 8:30. For a grand finale, New York couldn’t have asked for anything more.
When the lights dimmed last night at the New York State Armory on Lexington Avenue, a gold curtain pulled back to reveal the models, seductively perched on wooden chairs (think Cabaret), bathed in a rainbow of light. In the front row, Dakota Fanning, who appeared in his perfume ads for Oh Lola!, put on her glasses to get a closer look. Seated beside her was another one of Jacobs’ muses, Sofia Coppola, looking chic in a deep-blue sleeveless dress and black fishnets.
One by one, the models took to the wooden runway, walking around a center row of posts and beams adorned with lightbulbs that gave off an orangeish glow. On an eerie soundtrack, a voice counted off 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 . . . over and over. The set was meant to evoke a Southern dancehall, and some of the ladies indeed appeared ready for a hoedown à la David Lynch, with high-heel see-through cowboy boots, sheer gingham Western shirts, cropped jean jackets, kerchiefs tied around the neck, and fringe galore.
But mixed in with all the Americana were traces of what we’ll call Parisian sexiness. This was seen in the elegant silk socks and thigh-high stockings, which were curiously scrunched down ever so slightly (or perhaps just falling down on their own), and silk panties that peeked out from beneath transparent silicone dresses layered over collared shirts (really, aren’t we all just plain tired of pants anyway?). There were also some interesting takes on the turban (which, remember, we saw at Anna Sui–get on this trend now, people!), and shiny fake crocodile on everything, from jackets to skirts to loafers, that will surely be snapped up come spring. As the curtain closed on the models, who had returned to their chairs, we decided that there was actually one very important thing missing from Jacobs’ near-perfect show: a dancing dwarf in a red suit.