It all started with a bright flash of light. For a moment, my eyes were blinded, adjusting from the just-a-second-ago darkness to the now intensely lit hall of the Park Avenue Armory. My blurry vision made out what appeared to be figurine-like creatures, disjointly making their way underneath a Robert Therrien designed set of table and chairs befit for a giant, slow and struggling to move their rigid limbs (a complete reversal from last season’s less than three minutes show). I realized if Marc Jacobs was to ever create his version of a Barbie Dreamhouse, these would be the dolls living in it.
The little girl inside of me relished in what was in store. Forty-seven editions of toy-like models in special-made outfits that could be easily be changed and swapped conjured up feelings of joy and excitement for getting dressed, emotions I haven’t felt lately when staring into the abyss that is my closet each morning. Why is it different when I imagine that clothing is made for dolls and not humans, and the idea of mixing and matching is creative play rather than a chore? Did I need to feel the magic of being a child again to enjoy the quotidian routine of getting dressed?
Perhaps. And perhaps, once again, Jacobs wanted me to look beyond just the clothes. “My love for the commonplace is a constant and meaningful lifelong affair. Through the unavoidable lens of time, my glass remains full of wonder and reflection. By examining the memorable and the mundane, we abstract and exaggerate with a disorienting familiarity in our desire to express something naïve and elegant,” says the designer in the show notes.
And elegant indeed. From sporty numbers like silk spun bell bottomed tracksuits to formal attire such as the paillette finale gowns — major The Supremes vibe, with matching exaggerated bouffants created by hairstylist Duffy — there were plenty of looks to answer the age old question: What do I wear today? At least for a certain subset of women. From a lady’s lunch — hello Capote Swans — to an art gallery opening, standout iterations of classic pieces made each item feel special, yet wearable when broken apart. My favorite? The satin A-line skirt and roll neck knit combos in delicious colors reminiscent of Starburst candies.
For handbags, Jacobs reimagined the Tote Bag and the Venetia, both in oversized scale, the latter more suitable as a garment bag than a daily carryall for your morning commute. The shoes ranged from fanciful to playful — there were Mary Janes with stacked, curved heels; soft, elongated toe oxfords in gold metallic fabric adorned with jewels; and glossy black moto boots with exaggerated, bunny ear-shaped tongues.
From head to toe, there was a wealth of inspiration to be taken. And as Marc Jacobs’ 40th anniversary, this was a breathtaking collection to mark this momentous milestone. It made me wonder what is in store next. I can’t wait.