Marc Jacobs, For The 50's Kitsch-Lover In You


Last night, Marc Jacobs showed a neat little collection of neat little 1950s-inspired dresses and coats for his fall collection. Injecting a little levity in the proceedings were touches like fake fur and polka dots. As well as these jaunty, shiny hats the models wore.

Where you stand on the too-short pants issue probably depends on your height. Tall folks mostly are familiar with the phenomenon of that odd pair of pants that are too short to wear but too good to give away; short people generally have enough trouble finding pants at the right length that introducing a variable like this into the equation must just seem like a joke. I’m tall. I like the high-water look.

Women’s Wear Daily wrote that Jacobs “ditched last season’s gentle fluidity and replaced it with an austerity of line that was sliver-thin and delivered with couture-like precision along with the inevitable dose of girlish charm.”

Translation: uh, they liked it. I think.

On her blog, the New York Times critic Cathy Horyn called the clothes “strict and then some,” and “a blend of classic couture lines and excessive synthetic embellishment.” She went on, “I think the notion of form and sophistication was the main idea, and then Mr. Jacobs used synthetic embellishment as a means to avoid turning the whole thing into a 50s nightmare of elegance.”

Translation: it was pretty great!

If you stare very closely at this dress, a fully-stocked West Village Marc Jacobs store — the company’s 104th in the neighborhood — will appear.

It’s like a Bridget Riley painting decided to walk down the street.

I actually think Jacobs’ basic ’50s silhouette — a darker, higher-necked, pencil-skirted version of the ’50s silhouette he toyed with in his fall, 2010, collection for Louis Vuitton — is flattering to a wide range of bodies. But when wiggle skirts enter the picture, that flattering fit comes at the cost of some freedom of movement.

Even the hoodie in this collection has a waist and a peplum. The dang hoodie.

I quite like how many of the looks were shown with snow boots. Snow boots help to undercut what might have been a precious, costume-y quality.

As you can see, dots were a motif.

I can’t decide if imitating this outfit would make one very chic or very easily mistaken for an off-duty mime.

The set of intentionally see-through lace dresses that Jacobs put on the runway toward the end of the show reminded me very strongly of Prada’s fall, 2008, collection.

Actually, the fun fur is sort of Prada fall, 2007.

In fact, the whole mid-century, twisted-kitsch feeling is pretty much ground long ago popularized and claimed by Miuccia Prada.

But damn if some of Jacobs’ touches — like the little black lace dickie — weren’t pretty inspired.

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