In fashion, the name Marc Jacobs is associated with game-changing success. A true rebel, fired from Perry Ellis for his 1992 grunge collection, Marc Jacobs has solidified himself through hard work and ingenuity (as well as the undying support of his business partner Robert Duffy) as a fashion icon. With essentially three different labels all housed under the same name, he covers all socio-economic echelons of the fashion market while retaining his respectability as a fashion designer. Last Monday, patrons of the Jepson Center for the Arts gathered for the Art of Great Fashion, an event showcasing looks from Jacob’s Spring/Summer 2014 Marc by Marc Jacobs collection. The collection was shown on the bodies of live models, who stood varsity-jacket-clad, cheering for team Marc.
The collection was tasteful but predictable, filled with just-on-time trends (think Gatsby meets disco for contemporary streetwear) assembled in his typical rebellious 90’s spirit. The theme lay not in the individual garments, but in the styling of each look. The pieces covered all bases stylistically. By pairing a sequined flapper-esque dress with a long sleeved cotton t-shirt and metallic trainers, Jacobs attempted to convince the consumer that one’s daily walk down the street is as worthy an event to dress your best as any other.
One women’s look in particular embodied the multiple elements of androgyny featured throughout the collection. The model wore a navy men’s three-button suit, cut from a heavy cotton twill fabric, over metallic leather tennis shoes. A black silk scarf tied around her neck and over her hair (nonchalantly tucked into her jacket) accentuated the femininity of her long neck. Had this simple stylistic element not been employed, the whole look would have read as ‘butch,’ yet the male model in front of her wore capris.
No detail was spared in the construction of the garments. The cuffs of blazers were rolled up to expose bias taped seams. Athletic sneakers were constructed of pony hair, and a long-sleeved mini dress with a flared sweep (just shy of a pep-rally) was cut from blue and cream silk satin. Despite all these (expensive) details, the entire collection was styled in Jacob’s expected irreverent style, thrown on as if the models were late to class.
The collection could be described as satirical. Is there such thing as ‘effortless fashion?’ Perhaps Jacobs, aware of the unavoidably contrived aspect dressing, is poking fun at the industry that sustains him. Wrinkled silks and boyfriend pants suggests social irreverence. Yet, spending top dollar to appear rebellious is a terribly blatant testament of conformity.
Live models and photo-shoots created an interesting and interactive show. Whether such entertainment will translate into sales of actual clothing (rather than $21 hyper-branded totes) remains to be discovered. If we at the Savannah Art Informer spot any on the street, we’ll post photos.