Victorians Gone Surfing: Marc Jacobs Spring 2014

Clearly not mellowing with age, Marc Jacobs closed Fashion Week tonight with a doozy of a show. It was quite the eyeful for those who managed to escape the sudden downpour, and who also managed to shimmy into the show venue before the doors closed promptly at 8:00 pm — no more delays for Marc.

With barely a trace of femininity (or AC), the collection proved what he’s been hinting at for a little while now, that he wants his eponymous line to be distinct from his Louis Vuitton runways, which shall henceforth be reserved for ultra-slick productions on a par with the Met Ball and preferably graced by the celebrity-supe likes of Kate Moss.

So, if the Marc Jacobs line is to be a laboratory of ideas, akin to Comme des Garçons, then what were those ideas for spring? Hard to say. There was definitely a surfer vibe — surfer dude, not surfer chick — with long board shorts and sun-bleached, self-cut hair (what, no sunburns?). The sensational set — a kind of dock, littered with trash and cigarette butts, that zigzagged between a broken lifeguard chair and a rusted old bus — pointed to such a beach theory. Tropical frond prints in burgundy and grass green vaguely recalled Prada’s “menacing paradise” spring men’s collection.

Yet in this mash-up of mash-ups, there was so much more going on, namely in a series old-timey military jacket — sailor, perhaps — with enormous shoulders and decorated with rows of black fringe and tassels and things. Dark and masculine, these imposing shapes morphed into high-neck lacy Victorian dresses, but grungy and a little slouchy. 

The evening portion was appropriately glammed up, but there was still plenty of subversion to be had. Full sequin gowns were worn with souvenir-store moccasins or flip flops — in fact there were no high heels at all — and some beautifully beaded skirts were paired with a regular old sweatshirt. One of them had a decal of the famous Coca Cola wave logo, but without the brand name. Nothing like a random image from pop culture to get people talking. Take that, Bambi!

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