Like the tour-de-force signature collection he had shown the previous night, Marc Jacobs' secondary line for Spring 2011 was infused with an upbeat, seventies-inspired enthusiasm. In fact, make that the forties-as-seen-by-the-seventies—a fantasy epoch that has inspired a lot of youthful dressing-up over the years, and which plays neatly into this season's appetite for "proper" clothes. Of course, the designer added his own spin: Alongside a lovely selection of full-skirted, even demure, sundresses (the last outfit was irresistible) was a new take on the sweater girl (purest rah-rah when he belted a navy jumper over short shorts).

While the Marc by Marc womenswear struck an appealing balance between sweetness and sophistication, the boys, by comparison, still looked a lot like thrift-shopping college guys. In their rumpled suits and oversize coats, they recalled that New York moment when the cool kids imagined themselves as characters out of French New Wave movies—especially Lemmy Caution, the private eye antihero of Godard's Alphaville.