Image Source: Vogue
Marc Jacobs’ characteristically unorthodox creativity was staged to maximum advantage during a show revealing his spring/summer 2016 collection. Set as a Golden Age of Hollywood cinema experience, it was complete with a red carpet walk featuring Jacob’s key fashion, as well as bellhops handing out popcorn. The setting, all dimming lights and red curtains, helped to underscore the theme of the collection: the pageantry of classic Americana, but with a decidedly referential edge. In the midst of the glitz of a Silver Screen age gone by was a self-chiding whimsy. This kept each ensemble (and indeed, the entire show) from taking itself too seriously. Silhouettes reminiscent of 1940s gowns abounded, made more dramatic by shorter lengths and extremely high side slits. Far different from last year’s offering, Jacobs embraced a patriotism-as-product motif, ensuring his collection was positioned on the cutting edge while staying relevant for a broad range of consumers. It proudly displayed America’s (and other countries’) knack for economic and fashion excellence, while remaining distinctively Jacobs. Featuring emphasis on (and sometimes resistance to) the graceful curve of the feminine torso, Jacobs evoked nostalgic modesty in shoulders covered with jackets, sweaters, and shawls. There were (mostly) high necklines. These body shapes were further underscored by the footwear: a mixture of high, strapped sandals and cowboy boots. His Spring Summer Fashion Collection ran the gamut from playfully lazy casual to Jacobs’ relentless (though never tiresome) deconstruction of formal wear. There were over-sized, college-style sweatshirts mixed with long, straight skirts that displayed a hint of both leg and and a surprisingly fullness of fabric. Many gowns, skirts, and dresses were of the almost-too-long variety, evoking simultaneously the bias-cut gowns of Claudette Colbert and the professional tweed of Katharine Hepburn. Squared, pointed shoulders on dress and skirt ensembles provided a counterpoint to the natural shoulder of the Ready to Wear casuals. There were some surprisingly dark, borderline-subdued color tones for a spring and summer that will no doubt have an abundance of brightness and pastels. Marc Jacobs Spring Summer 2016 Collection is typical Jacobs, meaning to say it is in no way typical. An even more radical departure than previous years, it remained true to his core value of wearable, bold fashion. This time, he has remained relevant not just by referencing metaphors for American capitalism, but by embracing them.