Is this what happens when a wild and crazy fashion label known for its surreal runway presentations prepares to go public? If so, we’d just as soon the label stay private. In a season where innovation and excitement were in short supply, I was really looking forward to something incredibly bizarre or at least non-standard. But there were no little pink houses, no giant orange-colored sunset, or even molded turf like we saw at the Marc by Marc Jacobs show a couple of days ago. Instead, models walked down the straight runway, turned around, and walked back. Just like every other show from every other designer.

Okay, so the sixth look in was completely sheer, with sequined detailing at the shoulder and hem. That one look, tossed in for shock value, was the only part of this collection that reminded us of how far Marc Jacobs has pushed fashion outside of its comfort zone in past seasons. How would we describe the rest of the collection?


Understand what we mean by that word. These are well thought out, incredibly detailed, beautifully assembled clothes that are ready to walk off the runway, onto store shelves, and into your wardrobe without any alteration. There are full-length pleated skirts, black and white furs reminiscent of a certain Disney villainess, perforated rubber, strips of vinyl, and very tall boots and each and every look is tasteful, well styled, and should work just as well in Minneapolis or Des Moines as it does in New York or Paris.

Wait, are we talking about Marc Jacobs or J. Crew?

Yes, it’s Marc Jacobs.

Take look 15, for example. Gorgeous full-length, pleated, blue tartan skirt under a gunbarrel grey coat, belted at the waist, with fringed strips of black vinyl behind the lapels. The look is slightly reminiscent of Victorian England, very prim, very proper, very lady like. Since when was the Marc Jacobs woman lady like?

Of course, you’re going to fall in love with this Marc Jacobs collection, and you are right to do so. The paint brush slashes of red/pink are just enough to be a touch daring without actually risking any level of offense. Oversized snakeskin prints are dramatic, visually bold, and admittedly different from anything else we’ve seen this season. Pleated leather skirts shot through with brass ringlets, slightly abstract but still recognizable flowers, digital mosaics, and striped furs are done to absolute perfection.

So, why am I disappointed in this Marc Jacobs collection? Because at the end of the day, and the week, I look at this beautiful line of clothes and think, “My mother would have loved this collection.” Mother was small, country, and conservative. Now do you see the problem?

Marc Jacobs typically ends New York Fashion Week with a bang, and I will admit that this presentation was among the best we’ve seen all week. This week has been short on excitement and innovation, though. Being better than everyone else didn’t take much effort.

We’ll hope for better in London.

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