30/10/2015

ONE NIGHT ONLY IN BROADWAY


Fashion is a circus, a permanent show, no need to tell you. It's even truer nowadays with everything going on. Can you really believe all the things that happened in such a short period of time? Raf Simons leaving Dior, Alexander Wang leaving Balenciaga and Alber Elbaz fired from Lanvin after 14 years of good and faithful service, responsible for the return to grace of this French sleeping beauty. Some things are beyond understanding and just leave you speechless...
But Fashion is a demanding circus with due dates and even more collections. Designers are under pressure. It's not a surprise if some decide to take some time to breathe and live a "normal" life (normal is not a proper word when it comes to Fashion). Yet, these come & go can also have positive effects. Take Alexander Wang for instance. We are sure his departure from Balenciaga is a thoughtful & wise move to focus on his eponymous brand that knows a huge & fast expansion. As far as Marc Jacobs is concerned, his departure from Louis Vuitton was harder to deal with and we could have feared a sad & down era for his own brand. It is definitely not the case when you look at his insane & filled with creativity & extravaganza collections. Marc Jacobs is back for good. Marc Jacobs is still the King of Fashion! The end of this glorious era has been both beneficial and life-saving for him. This renewal started with his mind-blowing tribute to the legendary Diana Vreeland for Autum Winter 2015/16 and is continuing for Spring Summer 2016 with a collection dedicated to the Showgirls, to Broadway, to New York City and to a larger extent to the United States. Diana Vreeland used to say that "the eye has to travel" but the eye has to take its time to do so just like creativity. You have to take your time to create, to enjoy creating, to be able to transpose inspirations in the best of ways. Rome wasn't built in a day and so is Fashion.


Pic by Daniel Jackson for LOVE Magazine
Pic via the Marc Jacobs Facebook page
Pic by Daniel Jackson for LOVE Magazine
Because Marc Jacobs has been able to refocus, he is once again at his best and his SS16 collection can be seen as the Episode 2 of what he started with his explosive Diana Vreeland homage. This is a collection for showgirls (a recurrent theme for the designer) where his heroines are wearing clothes that take all their meaning at twilight when the night is slowly but surely taking the control. But they are clothes to go out as well, to go to Broadway, to watch some shows and to be the Show yourself, clothes to have a date with the whole New York City just like Carrie Bradshaw. A lot of things are going on in the US these days and particularly marriage equality. We are under the impression that Marc Jacobs wants to celebrate this moment by celebrating his country hence a kind of patriotic vibe with the star spangled banner printed pieces and the prevailing colours of the collection (red, blue & white). To do so and with his unique sense of casting (with the help of Katie Grand of course!) he chose girls with strong personalities, powerful faces to incarnate all the sides of his showgirls. This is definitely the cast of the season with such girls as the badass Natalie Westling who opened the show, Julia Nobis, Rianne van Rompaey (the new Twiggy), Mica Arganaraz, Hanne Gaby Odiele, Sarah Brannon, Kiki Willems, the fierce Catherine McNeil, Lineisy Montero, Caroline Trentini, the flamboyant Karen Elson, Karly Loyce, Ajak Deng, Issa Lish, Lexi Boling, Anna Cleveland, Molly Bair, the lunar Cierra Skye, Guinevere Van Seenus, Anna Ewers, Saskia de Brauw, Peyton Knight, Binx Walton, Joan Smalls, Jamie Bochert, Adriana Lima, Grace Bol, the sculptural Alek Wek, Marjan Jonkman and of course the iconic Beth Ditto (and the list is still long!)! The climax of eclecticism! All these beauties are gathered for an opening night at the Ziegfeld Theater, a place dear to Marc Jacobs where he used to watch movies as a kid. Such a Broadway event means a red carpet, a photocall with dozens of noisy photographers, a long catwalk, a big band playing live. Going out in NYC is and always will be an event!
Pic by Evan Schreiber for Dazed
Pic via the Marc Jacobs Facebook page
Pic by Evan Schreiber for Dazed
This collection is a tribute to Pop Culture, to all these arts we love so much and that are celebrated in this unique place in the world that is Broadway: Opera, Cinema, Ballet, Musicals... Just like the casting, this collection is about diversity but also about decadence & eccentricity. The clothes may seem too much or too daring but they perfectly fit within the worlds they are paying a tribute to. What is more audacious than a Musical costume? What can be more outrageous than a Diva outfit? We can spot all the references (sometimes in a whole outfit, sometimes in smaller details) it goes from the 40s movie stars to David Bowie, from Maria Callas to Cats, from Alfred Hitchcock to Swan Lake, from Andy Warhol to Cabaret, from the Wizard of Oz to Mickey Mouse. However, this is not literal at all because there is the Marc Jacobs touch: a unique mix of opulence, decadence, grunge, destroy aesthetics and a lot of attitude! Here, an unstructured cashmere cardigan is worn with a check shirt (a garment dear to cowboys just like denim, a fabric that can be found here and there in the collection) and a floor-length sequined slit skirt standing for the US flag. There, an oversized varsity jacket embellished with pins symbolizing the US (the Playboy Rabbit/popcorn/the Wizard of Oz baby shoes) or the Music Hall world (red lipstick + cigarette holder reminding us of the movie Cabaret) and embroidered on the back with the word 'Rainbow' (another reference to the Wizard of Oz) and worn over a "classic" lurex argyle jumper & red leather trousers (with checked revers). This collection is a wonderful mix of influences & times; thus, a very 40s pinstripe jacket with broad shoulders is worn with a sheer check shirt (a recurrent pattern throughout the collection), a sheer striped skirt and platform boots (for a 70s nod to Glam Rock) or we could also quote the one shoulder dress quite grunge but also completely glamorous because totally embroidered in sequins. Do you remember the Sex and the City episode when Carrie and friends are invited to the Sailors' Ball (Samantha's favourite time of the year)? There are also hints to the Navy with sailor outfits reminding us of the 4th of July celebrations. 
This merry mess wouldn't be complete without the costumes à la Life on Mars by David Bowie: soft blue or red pinstripe suits with slouchy pants & wide shoulder jacket; or with the Warholian inspiration on some outfits: images of Janet Leigh screaming in Psycho, Joan Crawford & her very recognizable eyes or Maria Callas singing out loud printed on a floor-length coat, a skirt or in a total look (jacket + skirt). At last, the final look of this show is very evocative of the Swan Lake but a Swan Lake meeting a grunge aesthetic: a sheer lace dress with sequins and an embroidery of two swans intertwined on the front. Absolutely sublime!

Pics by Evan Schreiber for Dazed
Pics via the Marc Jacobs Facebook page
The power of Marc Jacobs seems infinite and though his outfits could quickly become costumy or vintage looking, he succeeds in making us forget these vibes thanks to an incredible mix of so many periods and to multiple cultural references. Just like his campaigns where he is always mixing people from so different backgrounds (take his latest AW15 ad campaign for instance where Cher, Kim Gordon, Winona Ryder, Anthony Kiedis, Willow Smith, Debi Mazar or Sofia Coppola meet), his keyword seems to be ECLECTICISM in this SS16 collection and beyond, in all his collections. This is the mark of geniuses. It could be a risk to put that many references in only one collection but here, they are all perfectly melting with each other to form a magnificent & breathtaking ode to Music Hall & Americana. When a few months ago, we learnt that Marc by Marc Jacobs was disappearing for a brand repositioning, it deeply saddened us but it all makes sense now! Marc Jacobs is flamboyant like never before and is shining bright, just like the neons on the facade of a Broadway theatre.


Words by Charles Margueritte & Yann Sackville West



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