Girl power! The concept was debased by Geri Halliwell's endless, witless proselytizing, but Luella Bartley was happy to revive it after the sensational Marc by Marc Jacobs show today, her first as co-designer with Katie Hillier. (BTW, it will be henceforth known as MBMJ, just like the knee socks said.) There was something so fiercely ninja-pop-militant about the presentation that girl power was the irresistible takeaway. In the recent past, MBMJ's shows have been a neutral parade of girls and boys in vintage-inflected schmatta. Bartley and Hillier ditched the boys. Wise move. We all know girls rule the world, and, minus the draggy testosterone, the collection finally took fierce flight. Back, said Bartley, to its kicky roots. So all the BMX lingo on the clothes—Revolution! Bunny Hop! Twisted! Uprising! —functioned as a goofy manifesto.

The show felt like a consummation of the spirit that underpins the entire Marc Jacobs enterprise. New York born and bred he may be, but Marc himself is infatuated with the nuances of the fashion tribes that have shaped style since the youthquaking sixties. And no one gets nuance like a Brit club kid. So how savvy is it of Jacobs to surround himself with Londoners like Bartley, Hillier, Katie Grand, and Venetia Scott? The first look today—a soldier in Marc's fashion army—was accessorized with pigtails and a single tear streaking the model's cheek. Instantly defiant/romantic, it set the tone for the rest of the show. If some outfits looked Bolshevik apparatchik, others had the knife-pleated, crinolined flair of a Dickens chick, wrapped in a bow. Urchin girls! The poignancy of such creatures gave MBMJ an edgy new life. So did the solid-soled trainers. Attitude starts from the ground up. And this collection had attitude in fabulous spades.