New York needs Marc Jacobs. Without him, it can be argued, the city’s show schedule is reduced to a number of buying appointments and attention-grabbing gimmicks. The city needs him because talking about his shows without getting personal and emotional is near impossible. You might have hated tonight’s show and you may have loved it but you reacted to it and with it. You know what that’s called. It’s called passion and it has been noticeably absent all week. Jacobs loves fashion, fashion, for its transformative power and the sheer joy of dressing up in fabulous, glorious, heaps of the stuff.
Tonight we were back in the Park Avenue Armory after last season’s last hurrah at the iconic Ziegfeld theatre (it has since closed down to be turned into yet another event space). Into a shining white arena the designer sent out his very own Victoriana goth sorority Old Hollywood showgirls, towering on Ziggy Stardust’s platform lace-up boots. Doily lace collars over college sweaters and stretched out varsity jackets over big, big embroidered skirts. Bows and scraps of lace, dyed feathers, sequins and badges, even cats and mice appeared together on pretty much everything, from Art Deco collaged chiffon and silk dresses, to a washed-out denim jacket. A shimmering silver tall drink of a gown was made for Joan Crawford. There was a big shearling aviator jacket over a white shirt with a bigger bow and a tent of a skirt heaving with circular sequins and even bigger coats, like the one worn by a new face called Gaga. And everything kept growing like the collection took a bite out of an Alice in Wonderland 'Eat Me' cake. When the models walked out in those towering finale gowns they seemed to be levitating and the dramatic shadows they cast on the wall as they approached from backstage made them look like Dracula’s brides.
The soundtrack, by the way, was a random-seeming sequence of pings. They sounded like iPhone or even microwave alerts. They were in fact Keiji Haino’s practise of Ma, the Japanese concept of 'the haunted spaces between the notes' and what Haino described as 'defying the notion that you can’t create something from nothing.' You only need an idea. Marc Jacobs tonight presented about a hundred. You can’t buy them now but you can sure carry them with you for free.