September 09, 2007 New York
Jacobs collaborated with the video artist Charles Atlas to create the film that played simultaneously with the show. They shot the piece Sunday evening, and Atlas spent the whole night in the editing booth finishing it. As for the clothes and accessories, they were just as off-kilter and knock-your-socks-off as the production, with a bonkers surrealist streak. Trompe l'oeil underwear decorated georgette slipdresses, the heels of pumps protruded not from the heel at all but from the ball of the foot, and three-dimensional quilted leather bags were grafted onto square totes. Transparency was a key theme, too: Cashmere sweaters were inset with sheer panels at the waist, and reconstructed black bugle-bead evening dresses came suspended from their nude linings. Gimmicky? You bet. But also fascinating. If you want normal or tame, you're going to have to look on a different runway. Even the suits came with hip-high slitsthough, this being Jacobs, the effect was just as often gawky and awkward as it was provocative.
So what was it all about? With most of the models in varying stages of dishabille, Jacobs appeared to be saying something conceptual about the process of getting dressedor getting undressedbut he was typically vague backstage. "It's cartoon versions of all the women I knowconservative types, vamps, everybody," he allowed. From the looks of two number-emblazoned team-jersey T-shirt dresses that appeared on his runway, there are footballers' wives in the designer's inner circle along with all of those rockers and artists. One thing's for certain: He's moved on from last season's bourgeois austerity. This sublime performance was about sex, which is one of the reasons why we couldn't look away.