It was a star-studded affair inside the Park Avenue Armory for Marc Jacobs’ Fall/Winter 2016 show, and we’re not just talking about the front row. The biggest buzz of New York Fashion Week was the moment Lady Gaga clomped down the center of what looked like an enormous ice-skating rink right behind a barely recognizable Kendall Jenner – both decked out in sky-high platform boots and goth gear with finger-waved hair and a smear of kohl liner ringing their eyes.
While this spectacle was certainly stunning to behold, it nearly distracted the eye away from what was Marc Jacobs’ best collection in recent memory. While he has shown his fair share of voluminous silhouettes, it seemed like lately his theatrical shows existed to make up for collections that were lackluster in direction. That all changed today when Jacobs’ “little creatures” – and they certainly were an otherworldly lot – underscored a renewed energy to his designs.
His spooky collection emphasized overblown, enormous shapes that swallowed the figure so entirely that the only extremities that peeped from Jacobs’ massive volumes were the models’ heads and platform-boot-clad feet. Each look grew in proportion and imaginative design, starting first with a gray sweater and voluminous black skirt combination, and followed by all manner of statement-making pieces that included a lacquered leather skirt embossed with cats, comically huge blazers, grey denim jackets covered in spider web chains, thick cropped parkas with crow-wing embellishment, and the list goes on. Eyelet doily collars adorned several of the looks, even topping XXXL sporty sweatshirts, adding a prim quality to his modern-day-goth collection. Jacobs also re-purposed his signature polka dot for the surface of billowing baby doll dresses, and turned his dots 3D by adorning circular paillettes in orderly rows across the top of gigantic sweaters and jackets.
Jacobs’ “little creatures” – and they certainly were an otherworldly lot – underscored a renewed energy to his designs.
Jenner was given one of the prettier looks – a plush tweedy suit jacket that sprouted enormous cormorant feathers, paired with a matching skirt. Lady Gaga followed swiftly after in a subtly checked trench coat finished with a wide swath of jade-green fox fur at the elbow. Meanwhile, one the most jaw-dropping looks came in the form of a dramatic, floor-sweeping cape that glittered with anthracite beading.
While volume was the most noticeable thread that tied the collection together, every look was so heavily styled and layered that they each deserve their own column of description. Fall/Winter 2016 was comprised of a wonderful, luxurious compilation of prints, textures, furs, feathers, bows, dots, velvets, embroidery, and beyond, that it made for quite a heady display. This is a collection worth taking your time to explore and appreciate, as the work that went into every look offers a master’s class in couture-level patience. That closing look alone, which featured an impossibly huge checkered fur cape and textured floor-length gown, took hundreds of hours to complete. But this presentation does more than make a visual impact or flaunt talented stars in the line-up: it proves that Jacobs is back on his A-game.