The Marc Jacobs SS19 was quite the experience. An hour prior to the show, an e-mail notified guests that there would be a 30-minute delay — very civilized (please take note Paris Fashion Week). Tic toc. But one hour down and complaints were many. Fashion people’s ability to easily and happily whine during fashion week is remarkable. Did they have some prior commitment? Some hideous skirt convention to go to? At least one editor I know left to catch a flight back to Paris — fair enough.
At some point, Anna [Wintour] stood up and walked away, phone in hand. Almost the entire Park Avenue Armory gasped. “Is she really leaving?” “Oh my God Anna left!” “Please take me with you.” But Anna knows best. Once she got back to her seat, it was finally the gong, and the gag because Marc Jacobs’s collection was spectacular from start to finish. A sans faute.
The collection seemed to be a sequel of his AW18. It was the same type of woman, only now less menacing. Still, she was strong, determined. But like a bud at the dawn of spring, blessed with the light and warmth of the sun, she opened up. From the sexy nuisette that kicked off the show to the big birds, and from the impeccable tailoring to the chic sweaters which hopefully come with the velvety bows, the whole thing was marvelous. Realistically, some of it was made for the red carpet. A voluminous midnight green babydoll dress worn by Alek Wek will most likely reappear at some major award ceremony — or at least in glossies. One doesn’t need to book fittings in Paris, right here in busy Manhattan, couture is happening.
For women living under the spotlight, there also were sequin trousers in gold or silver. A new version of the harlequin suit was there too. Then you dissect each look, and you find pieces you could wear with your Marc Jacobs cropped leg stitch jeans, for everyday life. Pieces such as the sunflower yellow crop top. Don’t forget to add the apricot ruffled bustier dress on top of your wish list.
Spiteful tongues —and those titillated by ephemeral hype— will say it imitates Pierpaolo Piccioli’s Valentino, but the genesis is more Roberto Capucci, Cristóbal Balenciaga, and Yves Saint Laurent. Fashion inspires fashion, and Marc Jacobs has a genuine sensibility towards the work of his predecessors. Thankfully there were no nerve-racking concepts, not an ounce of pretentiousness, no silly avant-garde, no mighty revolution. It was pure, pastel and polished beauty. What’s the point then? Well, one would argue that beauty can be political too. Against the repugnance of 45 and his acolytes, it becomes a real, necessary deed. Beauty elevates. Beauty soothes. Beautiful clothes exalt both the mind and the body. Marc Jacobs is a master of beauty.
Words by Pierre M’Péle