Tuesday, September 9, 2008
wall street journal
Part prairie, part Pygmalion, Marc Jacobs mixed it up for SS09.
Starting almost on-the-dot for the second season in a row, and set to George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue soundtrack, the show’s backdrop was a mirrored runway with a difference – one made from dozens of dress mirrors stationed down the catwalk’s length.
The effect was not only reminiscent of a circus mirror, but of the famous faceted mirror staircase at Chanel’s headquarters in the Rue Cambon. There was also something more than a little Coco Chanel (and YSL) about the models' sweet straw boaters.
The collection, a mashup of mannish plaid and ladylike luxe, groaned with voluminous layered silhouettes, nearly every last look cinched at the waist with the collection’s signature, wide obi-like sash or cummerbund.
They included gypsy-like, tiered skirts fashioned from up to three different fabrications and styled back with boxy little 80s-look jackets with shoulder pads and elbow patches. Also, button-down plaid shirts, which seemed at once a nod to Jacobs’ 1992 grunge collection for Perry Ellis – which got him fired – and the moment’s lingering lumberjack look.
But Jacobs is the one to set trends, not follow them. Some of his sure-to-be-copied SS09 looks include two voluminous colourblocked sundresses in canary yellow, turquoise and violet which looked like they had been fashioned from two obscure countries' national flags.
There were ruffled pinafore dresses with plastic bretelles; crisp shirts with bracelet-length sleeves worn over high-waisted, mid calf pencil skirts in Jacobs’ now trademark liquid metallic fabrics; high-shine, slimline brocade cocktail shorts; and smart print coats and side-split, cheongsam-style skirts, both with contrast piping.
The tangential closer: three, simple, full-length draped jersey dresses in apricot and dove grey.
The latter did seem to strike an odd note. But then, perhaps you had to be there. The swag of boldface names who were included Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Richie, Winona Ryder and Victoria Beckham, who sported a new gamine cropped 'do.
Accessories included a spectacular platform espadrille with straps laced all the way to the knee.
Click here to see the full collection on style.com.
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