Marc Jacobs looked to Carnaby Street, Edie Sedgwick, and the unflappable energy of the fashion-obsessed, drug-fueled Mod subculture of 1960s London for spring. Vertical stripes were the prevailing motif, as Jacobs catapulted himself away from the hyper-styled hodgepodge of his fall show and straight into graphic, spare simplicity.
Don’t confuse spare for boring though. Jacobs keyed in on the sexual freedom that ran tangential to the women’s lib movement of the 60s, showing off peeks of midriff in glossy silk suits and cropped separates; for example, a Mickey Mouse print navel-baring cropped sweater paired with a low-rise pleated skirt. Tantalizing yes, but it’s a modern sexuality that more designers would be wise to approach, considering that we’ve gone as far as we can safely go with décolletage and a slit skirt without being obscene. Thankfully, Jacobs has made it a point to move away from sheer paneling, a trend that gets more banal with each passing season. If you have the body, bare it. Leave the illusions to the magicians.
Jacobs kept things charming by pairing his thigh-grazing tunics with ruffle collars and trumpet hems. The look was youthful and addressed some of the problems with the New York collections this season. Namely, that “serious” design doesn’t need to be labored. Take, for example, a sequin vertical-stripe jumpsuit on Jamie Bochert, cut with looseness and ease that could appeal to any age group. Or the finale of graphic dresses, trailing carwash style skirts with chiffon insets—unique, witty, and quintessentially Marc Jacobs.