With his typically amped-up runway sets pared down to nothing more than a trailing spotlight, Marc Jacobs showed an exuberant fall collection Monday that reveled in the art of getting dressed. A riot of Crayola box colors and 1980s references, the show was the jolt the foundering fashion industry needed, proving that the ostentatious furs and jeweled heels of yesteryear may be gone, but luxury lives on in a purer form through energetic cut and color.
Their hair swept into pompadours and teased into Flock of Seagulls whooshes, Jacobs' downtown denizens raced around the runway in Max Headroom sunglasses, chain-link necklaces and elfin booties with cartoonish, spring-loaded heels.
You could feel the influence of Pop artist Stephen Sprouse in the Day-Glo baroque print leggings, scarves and quilted handbags. (Jacobs, also creative director of Louis Vuitton, recently released a Sprouse tribute collection for the brand.)
The architectural approach Jacobs has been dabbling in for the last few seasons gave way to something more free-spirited on '80s-style satin prom dresses with scarf-point hems and lovingly tucked and folded bodices. I imagined Jacobs as a kid again, coloring his fashion fairy tale outside the lines.
Zippers were everywhere, trimming a black boyfriend cardigan as if they were the finest silver embroidery, and scattered over a black pouf skirt. The high-waist peg-leg pants that are showing up elsewhere were here too in gray pinstripes, topped with a yellow satin fan-pleated bustier. And leave it to Jacobs to resurrect stirrup pants -- in neon pink, no less -- shown with a black cape coat and matching wool kerchief.
It was one of Jacobs' most salable collections in years, with lots of separates to buy, including a neon blue scuba-inspired poncho and a gray sweat shirt with folded and molded power shoulders. Coats were also a highlight.
But more than anything else, the show was fun to watch, especially when the notoriously late designer indulged his brattiness by starting two minutes early, despite the empty seats.
Once a rebel, always a rebel.