Rather than setting trends (as with his eponymous, boundary-pushing mainline), Marc Jacobs' diffusion range is more about latching onto trends already in the fashion pipeline, giving them a Jacobs twist, and trotting them out to a receptive audience of store buyers. Hence, at a good Marc by Marc show the outfits he sends out always look like something the twentysomething (and under) models may have been style-snapped sporting while entering or exiting the building, rather than a runway look. For Autumn/Winter 2010 Jacobs was feeling military, interpreting the army surplus look that began to emerge at the tail-end of last season and came back with a vengeance at January's menswear. Jacobs' reinterpretation was fairly straight-up - cue felted wool striped like army blankets in olive and red, the same shades fashioned into hefty ribbon-bound melton coats and roomy cavalry-twill cargo trousers. The all-important bags were webbing-strapped satchel in battered leather, and the footwear hefty leather combat boots with thick straps, or highly-polished patent brogues destined for the officer's mess. A hefty dose of tartan wove its way through - Black Watch fashioned into almost-too-classic flannel shirts, Royal Stuart pepping up short prom frocks, while Buchanan Dress emerged as a kooky knickerbocker suit in a typical touch of Jacobs perversity. The final section, of almost-staid black and white evening dress, was however a little bit straight-laced for this fun-loving label. Indeed, closing with a clutch of basic black frocks, you wondered if it was really runway-worthy - it was all perfectly pretty, but a smaller venue and one of those intimate presentations would have done justice to the cutesy black-on-black details peppering those last looks, nod indeed the collection as a whole. As it was, these pieces were slightly overawed not only by the overarching demands of the venue, but perhaps the expectations that come with simply having the Jacobs name sewn inside.
Marc Jacobs' diffusion range is more about latching onto trends already in the fashion pipeline, giving them a Jacobs twist.