The mind can occasionally wander during a fashion show and create an empire of the senses that simply doesn't exist. Marc Jacobs is one designer who is utterly adept at teasing associations and subtexts until the wandering mind has made a whole new story for his collection. Case in point: the peacenik teens spotted in his latest Marc by Marc collection. If the girls' side of the show seemed driven by the hints of the forties that are showing up on other catwalks, the boys were just like the earnest young men who enlisted to honorably serve their country in decades past then came home to activate for peace. Just check budding young Canadian superstar Ryan Taylor in his army shirt and farm-boy pants. Once that scenario fell into place, the military insignia that decorated shirts and jackets made sense. So did the baggy draw-strung desert-rat shorts, the latest incarnation of the army-surplus influence on Mr. Jacobs's second collection.

But boys don't really want to fight, so Marc draped a khaki tank in a floral-print shirt. He belted the accompanying shorts in flowers too. Just as in his signature collection this season, a generosity of spirit prevailed in the volume of baggy, cropped pants and shirts flopping over waistbands. For Spring '07, the prom outfit that always closes this particular show tellingly consisted of a black dinner jacket over baggy fatigues—the perfect marriage of hope and despair.