Marc Jacobs may not be the all-conquering hero designer of New York that he was in his heyday, but judging from his latest ballet performance show, his imagination still remains the most fertile in American fashion. Certainly when it comes to staging runway shows that reach the heights of performance art.
Jacobs invited barely 200 guests to the Uptown Armory for this Wednesday evening show, the last in the New York season. Placing four guest to each table inside the giant space, before kicking off with a dance intro from legendary choreographer, Karole Armitage. Gesticulating angrily, the lady once dubbed the ‘Punk Ballerina’, spun through the audience, as the first models appeared.
At first sight, this was a fundamentally nostalgic collection, as Jacobs referenced much of his own past design. Though, where recent seasons were all about exaggerated volumes and heightened silhouettes, this fall winter 2020-21 collection reined in proportions.
Barely a print in sight, except for a sleeveless tartan boiler suit. Monochromatic A-line dresses, mini-cocktails and princess dresses in anything from red sequins to soft pastel crepe. Half the cast wrapped up in enveloping coats – in silver jacquards or faux-leopard skin. Many of the gals in felt cloches or generous pill box hats.
Throughout the show, models interspersed or narrowly avoided the dancers; the whole scene driven on by an almost deafening blast of techno dance courtesy of Rich Knochel. At the finale, the dance troupe performed hyper energetically – spinning and whirling, with one in front of each table, in a brilliant display of Armitage’s theory of “cubism in motion.”
“Referencing my own life and career thus far, it is the fading picture of a disappearing New York that prevails – now foreign and exotic in its extinction, forever mythical and chic with its beauty, promise, sparkle and grit… (This) collection celebrates the intersection of chaos and form,” opined Jacobs, in his program notes.
As ever, generously thanking over 80 people “who worked tirelessly to help create this collection.”
No one harder than Marc, judging from this really rather unique show.
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