Marc Jacobs went a different route this A/W 17 season. In place of an elaborate set, he stripped it all down. We sat and watched the show with no set, no music, no theatrics, and no iPhone photography allowed. He labeled the show 'respect', an ode the early days of hip-hop in New York. 'As a born and bred New Yorker, it was during my time at The High School of Art and Design when I began to see and feel the influence of hip-hop on other music as well as art and style', he wrote in his show notes. 'This collection is my representation of the well-studied dressing up of casual sportswear and a gesture of respect for the polish and consideration applied to fashion from a generation that will forever be the foundation of youth culture street style.'
Was this in some way a reaction to the public’s outcry over cultural appropriation at this last show featuring rave style and colourful dreads? Perhaps.
The clothes themselves were pretty basic. An oversized pale violet corduroy jacket with a fluffy shearling collar. Baggy light denim jeans slid into stacked boots and paired with a shearling-lined denim jacket and dust brown mock neck. Mini dresses with deep V-necks to the waist and fur-accented coating. A blood red corduroy pair of swinging trousers. There were easy separates and party dresses, in tans, burgundies and blues.
The purpose of the minimalism of the show - which ended with all the models walking out onto the street and sitting down to take photos of the audience as they made their way out of the venue - was, of course, to focus on the clothes and the clothes alone. It was effective. These are highly wearable options. Maybe not the most exciting of the day, but desirable — especially if you’re young and in New York - nonetheless. Jacobs spoke of a cultural movement that gave way to a new language of style. The A/W 17 show may not create all that much that is new, but what it does celebrate, it celebrates well.