An exhibition called Tiki Pop has just opened at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris. Chances are it's unrelated to the Marc by Marc Jacobs Spring collection for men—with its Polynesian motifs and an "angry tiki man" graphic—except to suggest an emergent trend, a kitschy interest in the ancient cultures of the South Pacific. During a showroom walk-through of the collection, the theme was described more in terms of "surf punk." At any rate, more than anything, Burning Man and summer music festivals suffused the collection, translated through indigo denim; ornate Indian embroidery; ikat tie-dyeing; trippy color-blocking; heat-sealed waterproof rubber raincoats; cotton and jacquard blazers worn with matching shorts; "ragamuffin" jackets strewn with colored duct tape; and a purple-clouded, Martian-looking landscape print by the illustrator and house collaborator Fergus Purcell, aka Fergadelic. A coming-of-age "gap year," when a student takes time off for hostel-hopping self-discovery before entering college, was also cited, seen in bright Birk-style sandals, luggage-tag leather accessories, and large travel backpacks.
The main Marc Jacobs line is the place for structured, three-piece finery. The Marc by Marc label is a different beast, as the younger, louder, cheeky tiki vigor of this twenty-look collection proved. Jacobs has always done adolescence very well, and this outing was no exception.