Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Marc Jacobs: What is it I'm not getting?
When it comes to Marc Jacobs I feel depressingly out of step. Am I just stubborn and blind? Am I willfully sticking to a gun filled with blanks? Maybe like Anna Wintour says in The September Issue, I'm just part of that pack that denigrates fashion and its Stars because I'm not a member of the club, putting down those ones who are. Maybe so, maybe not. I've never been good at club membership and tend to shy away from them. I step to the side .
Watching this whole week of shows and the members take their places and strike their poses is a reminder that I'm still off to the side. It's where I'm most comfortable. To pretend otherwise would be a lie and I'm too old and seen too much towaste time fooling myself or anyone else.
Marc Jacobs collection for Spring strikes me very much like so many of his collections in the past.There are a barrage of ideas, references and such a profusion of styling that it's hard to grab a hold of what I'm seeing to make sense of it. There are several elements to this complex symphony that are tantalizing, even hypnotic. Beautifully cut coats and artfully draped dresses awash with detail. Ruffles that are so amusing, fashion that made me smile and laugh in a raucous, joyful way. Even simple confections that were like mere tinklings from a child's toy piano were magical. The sophistication and audaciously unapologetic presentation set it apart from everything I've seen. So why does it still escape me? I guess as much as I'd like to be, I'm just not that cool.
Seen separately there are many ideas that are creative and modern. Though steeped in the past with many reminders of the masters of only 20 years ago, Marc's vision feels jumbled and chaotic. There are certainly a plethora of ideas to fill the racks of so many hungry, desperate stores. I fear the customer will be left to her own devices. Perhaps it is a collection that is perfect for these times. You can buy one of these or one of those and not feel you have to have it all. Only the show was designed and built for us to take in the complete performance from its overture, through each movement and the final crescendo. It was all so much, so many instruments crowding the stage and so loud that I had trouble focusing. The pictures I've chosen are the looks I liked best. Jacobs has an amazing team he conducts and the collection is crammed with ideas. I just don't quite see the brilliance in it. If you send out everything you can think of and style it so nothing is left out something is sure to stick.
I will say this, he has a huge arsenal of ideas and fortunately a very powerful machine to fuel them. Perhaps that's good enough. It doesn't get much better than that for a designer, I would just like to come away from his show blown away instead of blown to bits.