Over the past few seasons, Marc Jacobs has felt lost. He sent white models down the runway in multi-coloured dreads for Spring/Summer 2017; a hip-hop focused collection came after. And while he suggested these looks were an homage, for many they felt more like transgressions than offerings. There is something to be said for speaking to and drawing inspiration from the community you are actively a part of. That’s what made him so brilliant to being with.
This A/W 18 collection, Jacobs got back on his game. He’s given the reigns of his contemporary line to John Targon of Baja East, and he focused solely on his RTW this season, delivering eighties couture-inspired silhouettes in full confidence. The opening look was a blood red coat, oversized with exaggerated shoulders and straight out of Working Girl in its proportions. It was followed by a lush purple version; St. Barts blue pleated leather pants (the kind a young Michael Jackson might have moved in); and plenty of bow detailing and massive shoulders calling reference to the work of Ungaro, Mugler, Saint Laurent and more.
It was dramatic. The slick leather, power shouldered coats, the ornate organza tops with overflowing decorative floral necklines; the plush fur coating - these looks were major. The woman who wears any one of these pieces is unapologetic and loves it. (Not unlike the designer.) The closing look - a red and black, ornately constructed gown with giant undulating puffed shoulders - is for a very confident wearer. If you take politics into account, it’s a little twisted to celebrate the excess of that eighties moment in our current state, where basic social services are being stripped away so that the people who can afford those coats en-masse can earn collect greater interest. But I don’t think it’s meant to be that deep. Jacobs is speaking to his client and this collection seems intended to be taken on the surface.