In a season when so many other New York designers are referencing the eighties, Marc Jacobs is kissing the decade goodbye. You could say his fall Marc by Marc Jacobs line evoked the nineties, with those raver's pants, slip dresses worn over long-sleeve tees, and the occasional baby-doll. But you'd be missing the point. Rather than depending on nostalgia for a particular era or influence to anchor his designs (which he's been wont to do in the past), Jacobs, of late, has been using each show to further refine his own unique vocabulary.

The proportion-play that he began exploring a year ago in his signature collection was there today in extra-wide pants, voluminous floor-sweeping skirts, and coats that seemed to float a few inches off the models' frames. There was some of the gloom, too. The palette was predominantly black, navy, and gray, with flashes of red here (on an armband) and there (the hem of a dress). From spring, Jacobs borrowed schoolgirls' coats and shifts. Finally, boys' vests and shrunken blazers added a sexy bit of androgyny to the mix. Piece by piece, it's bound to do gangbusters in his stores. More than one editor we know has already got her eye on those patent-leather platforms.