Attendees at this season’s Marc Jacobs show couldn’t get a break: Outside the armory on Lexington Avenue it was pouring rain, inside it felt like it was a hundred degrees. In lieu of air conditioning, pitifully ineffective paper fans were handed out. Of course, given that this was Jacobs’ spring collection, the heat would seem to be a natural fit for all the light, breezy clothes that would surely come down the runway. Right? No.
A stark contrast to all the scantily clad women on his fall runway, this show had models thoroughly covered up in big sweatshirts and what appeared to be wool. Could it be that this is Jacobs’s sly response to climate change? To our eyes, the theme seemed to be a day at the seaside after a devastating Sandy-like storm (the show opened with the theme song to Jaws). Bathed in blue light, the eerie set included a massive tire, a wrecked wooden boardwalk, a towering lifeguard chair fit for a giant, and an abandoned bus with a destination sign that read Dark Hollow. Models (including Sky Ferreira), wearing uneven blond bobs with tiny bangs, glided past the wreckage on a runway of black glittery sand littered with cigarette butts.
So, what will the Jacobs girl be wearing after the next hurricane? The show opened with ornate long-sleeved jackets adorned with black tassels and epaulets (think officer meets toreador) paired with Bermuda shorts with matching elaborate details down the sides. Solid colors (maroon, forest green, dark blue) quickly gave way to a parade of bold tropical-flower prints. Most of the dresses (some with long puffed sleeves out of the 1890s) went down to the floor, and some pieces (such as a head-scratching maroon pullover with a red square in the middle and the Classic Coke white stripe across it) were unexpectedly (and brilliantly) layered over black lacy high-necked tops.
Frankly, after seeing so much white and pastel clothing all week, it was refreshing to encounter so many wintry colors. And though there were a few belly buttons on display (spring’s hottest accessory this Fashion Week), Jacobs successfully proved again that it pays to against the tide.