When the clock struck 8 on Monday night, Marc Jacobs, his clothes, and his models had been in the ready position for a good half hour. As waiters passed around chilled bottles of Perrier, the designer's publicists joked that, in a break from tradition, it would be the editors and retailers who held up the show (for this season, at least). And what a show it was. At 8:25, after the last of the fabulous and tardy scooted in (yes, Lindsay Lohan and Lil' Kim, we're talking to you), the Penn State Blue Band marched onto the runway and broke into a rendition of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" that had everyone dancing in their seats.
It's the fifth time the designer has included the iconic song on his runway soundtrack. Why the repetition? "Because it's the anthem of teenage angst," he said backstage. The designer, well beyond his teens, doesn't have much to be angsty about these days, but he's never met a girl who smoked in the school bathroom who he didn't like. The show started off with a series of uniforms, and if Snejana's black gabardine jumper and white cotton shirt spelled teacher's pet, Anouck's windbreaker and pleated skirt with net slip peaking out from underneath spelled troublemaker. From there, he moved on to what he called "blown-up American classics": Pea jackets, cashmere sweatshirts, and cuffed shorts were, like his voluminous Fall clothes, quite literally blown up, and looked puffed with air.
After his directional fall collection, this Spring show could've been deflating. But Jacobs seemed determined not to let that happen. Showing slow-dance-appropriate silvery party dresses (several falling in tiers of lace or lamé to the floor) and then releasing a cascade of glittering confetti made everyone in the housejaded front row includedfeel like prom kings and queens for a day.