Give ‘em the ol’ razzle-dazzle….
That’s what designers did at New York Fashion Week, which wrapped Thursday night with Marc Jacobs at the Ziegfeld Theatre, Playbills, popcorn and all.
Jacobs put the “show” in fashion show by having his begin with the models walking the red carpet outside, in front of passersby who held their camera phones high.
Inside, guests watched the first few arrivals on a movie screen. And after the models wound their way up the escalators and into the theater, they walked the runway to the sounds of a rootin’, tootin’ live orchestra.
Not only was it a reminder of the power of the red carpet, but how closely fashion has become tied to entertainment, thanks in no small part to master showman Jacobs.
The collection was a star-spangled celebration of edgy Americana, club kids, grunge kids, rockabilly kids, Hollywood scream queens and more. And it came on like Fourth of July fireworks, loud and rough, much of it red-white-and-blue, with patched varsity jackets, bandleader uniforms, team sweat shirts, stars and striped jeans, a feather bolero, a sweater vest knit with popcorn and movie camera motifs, a floral eyelet maxi skirt over plaid shorts, and spangly beauty queen gowns (one of them modeled by the singer Beth Ditto).
It was an eyeful, putting Jacobs back at the center of the party. And this time, everyone was invited.
Jacobs recently folded his more affordable, accessible Marc by Marc Jacobs line into this main collection. So this show was a bit of a fresh start, with more casual pieces — denim, American flag T-shirts and pointy-toed sneakers — designed to extend the collection’s appeal. It will be interesting to see if the public buys it. Jacobs has some pretty stiff competition at the intersection of fashion and pop culture nowadays. His name is Jeremy Scott and his film, “The People’s Designer,” opens today.
Another of fashion’s master showmen, Ralph Lauren, took a step back from the cinematic this season to focus on uncomplicated elegance in the most luxurious fabrications for yacht and club. Think floaty silk palazzo pants and tunic tops color-blocked like sails, a saddle leather flared skirt worn with a navy cashmere sweater, and a draped, navy-striped shirting gown. It was a breath of fresh air. In the front row, Jessica Chastain, Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin seemed pleased as punch.
The party-hearty theme was alive at Calvin Klein, where the inspiration was “the morning after.”
Worn with skater sneakers, ivory slip dresses with delicate body chain details had a luxe grunge look, as did drapey trousers and trench coats in fluid silk or dusted with sequins, floral-printed leather pants, coats and more slip dresses.
It was quite a departure from what designer Franciso Costa usually does, but more in line with the brand’s new, cool kid image, as seen in those Justin Bieber and Kendall Jenner underwear ads.
Jenner, one of the Jacobs show models, and her celebrity ilk who are just now discovering the 1990s should love it. And maybe that’s the point. The runway is the costume department for the Hollywood red carpet and we are merely extras.