Marc Jacobs earned his reputation as New York fashion's consummate showman and then some tonight. The set was spectacular and huge. Dreamed up at the designer's request by his friend, the artist Rachel Feinstein, the construction paper folly looked like a broken castle. "Marie Antoinette's version of ruins," she said. A pretend fountain was perched halfway down the curving runway.
But we weren't in eighteenth-century France. Seventeenth-century Plymouth Rock meets the twenty-first-century street-style scene is more like it. Jacobs' models wore pilgrim shoes, of both the flat and stacked heel variety, affixed with giant rhinestone buckles. And their wild outfits, the designer said backstage, were inspired by the likes of Anna Piaggi and Lynn Yaeger, fashion eccentrics of the first order and mash-up artists long before the Sartorialist arrived on the scene.
Piaggi has never gone anywhere without a hat, and Jacobs had some doozies on the runway. Made of multicolored mink, they tilted this way and dipped that, like something out of Dr. Seuss. The getups were just as off-kilter: Wool stoles were buttoned over wool coats worn on top of patchwork skirts above cropped pants. Colors were all over the map; prints ranged from oversize paisleys to floral pencil doodles, and holographic appliqués dripped off dresses. Tinsel turned up everywhere. And volumes, in marked contrast to his strict, severe collection of a year ago, were turned up, too.
Padded hips? Prepare yourselves, ladies.
It was fearless, just like Piaggi, Yaeger, and co. And it made you fall in love with fashion and Marc Jacobs all over again.