There are like 300 or so fashion shows that go on during Fashion Week, and it might be safe to say that by the time it's over, even if one has only seen a small fraction of them, a certain weariness sets in form seeing so much predictable merchandise, however charming and appealing much of it might be.
Then there's MARC JACOBS. Of all the shows The Shophound attended this season, none of them had the level of anticipation and general fashion excitement that we found at Marc. Love it or hate it, you can count on not being able to predict what kind of show you are going to see.
The Shophound writes about Marc a lot simply because he give us lots of material, and we're not talking about his personal life ,about which plenty of other people devote many column inches. Frankly, we don't care that much about it.
This, however, was our first Marc Jacobs show, so let's start from the beginning.
We were advised to get there early, if only to get ahead of the crowd. The show as called for 7 PM at the New York State Armory, with doors opening at 6:30 We got in line at around 6:20 and only waited a short time before security started admitting people. One pleasant surprise: Standing room guests were admitted along with everyone else instead of being held until the last minute to scramble for space. The Armory was fitted out with bleachers around a square stage. This season, set designer Stefan Beckman built a scaffold with a projection screen behind it. Just in front, Sonic Youth, a Jacobs favorite, would play live for the show.
Banquettes were set up on either side of the stage for V.I.P. front row guests with champagne coolers, and each bleacher seat had a special canvas tote containing a T-Shirt on it. Waiters passed nuts, candy, popcorn and drinks among guests as the seats filled in , and an occasional roar could be heard from photographers at the entrance heralding the arrivals of the famous. Marc's regulars, aside from the usual editors, included Selma Blair in a fetching Louise Brooks bob, Lil' Kim and Debbie Harry, while more celebrity was provided by Gretchen Mol, Molly Sims, M.I.A., who would spin records later at the party, Ellen Pompeo, a suited up Kevin Federline and, finally, Victoria Beckham.
At about 7:10, to the laughter and applause of the crowd, Jacobs himself took to the stage shouting, "We're ready to start! We're ready!" pointedly teasing not only himself for being chronically late but also many in his audience for bitterly complaining about it. In fact the high level of hospitality was obviously meant to be an apology of sorts for past transgressions. A few minutes later, loudspeakers announced the show's start as Posh scrambled amongst the paparazzi for her seat. It must be noted that in Fashion Week Time, a 7:00 show, for example, would typically begin at around 7:35 or 7:40, take 15 minutes or so, and end well before 8. They rarely, if ever, begin before half past the call time, and pretty much everyone knows that arriving even 20 minutes late still leaves plenty of time to get settled, with major buyers and editors often skidding in moments before the lights go down. Not tonight. The show began at about 7:20, and anyone who thought they would waltz in at 7:30 (and there were more than a few) would be sorely disappointed to have missed it entirely. Models, each in a single look walked the perimeter of the stage, finally arriving, one by one in a line atop the scaffolding.
And the clothes? They are better seen than described which is why we posted twice as many pictures as usual (click them to enlarge). Who else would be able to set the season's trends, disparate as they are, on their collective ear. Who else could make such unexpected accessories like tricorn hats and '80s headbands look right. An about face from Spring's arty deconstuction, this was Marc in serious (but never boring), crisp and occasionally architectural mode. We are more than certain that retailers left the show smiling haing seen plenty of wearable, salable and very chic clothes.
And, of course, going to the Marc Jacobs show means going to the Marc Jacobs Party. It's an extra bonus, featuring most of the celebs and no V.I.P. room so they just hang out with everyone else.