Under Marc Jacobs’ direction, even the remnants of awkward adolescence can yield fashion gold. With his secondary line, the designer plays up some of his favorite inspirations—’70s teen culture and the haphazard chic of thrift-store style—to create the young, zippy looks that keep his hip customers coming back for more.

While spring’s collection was like a rummage through an artsy girl’s closet, fall was more a stroll through the hallway of a rather tough high school. Taking workaday looks such as lumberjack plaid and faded denim, Jacobs cropped and nipped them to create neat little jackets and pants. He showed lots of jeans, cut skinny and cropped mid-calf or with a bit of ribbon running down the side seam, as well as A-line minis and dresses similar in spirit to the mod-inspired collection he had presented the previous night. Knits showed up as basics (ribbed turtlenecks were everywhere) or in girlish cardigans and pullovers with trompe l’oeil sweetheart necklines. Jacobs cemented the ’70s feeling by mixing slightly clashing shades of rust, lavender, orange, yellow, black, red and blue.

The Marc look, at least as it appears on his runway, is studiously slapdash, with the designer and his crew creating outfits via faux-casual layerings. A jacket over a cardigan over a T-shirt over jeans over leggings, with a belt, should be a cacophony. The fact that it isn’t is a large part of the line’s charm.