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Oh, Marc

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Jacobs in 2004, taking an endearingly shy bow; the new Marc, shiny and hard-bodied during his post-show spin on the Vuitton runway.   

And then there was the normally adoring Brid-get Foley, WWD’s executive editor and a longtime champion of Jacobs’s (she’s written a mini-biography), who reported the widely circulated rumors that Jacobs spent those precious pre-show minutes at the bar or the restaurant of the Mercer—and, some implied, having a drink (he checked himself into rehab in March). “That is bullshit! That is bullshit!” Jacobs thundered in WWD. “Leave me alone and don’t come to the show next time.” And then he did the unspeakable. Marc Jacobs—our child of the Mudd Club—threatened to take his show to Paris.

It’s not that waiting for a Marc Jacobs show is a total drag: There can be some excellent people-watching. But the fashion professionals had been sitting in a lot of tents already (as opposed to, say, the Parsons students who get invited) and were eager to get on with it and get home. There’s always an eye on Anna too: If Wintour gets up and walks out, can we all? Jacobs had always been a favorite, but lately, some felt, he’d been behaving like a confused teenager with a disregard for his curfew and contempt for everyone else’s time.

Jacobs’s excuse, as delivered by the surprisingly mellow KCD staff, is always the same: The clothes, quite simply, aren’t ready. Which was one thing when he was still struggling to stay in business, but since rocketing to international stardom after being hired by LVMH to design Louis Vuitton, Jacobs is one of our richest and best-staffed designers. How can he be so perpetually, so terminally late?

It’s always seemed a bit like acting out. Jacobs shows late because he can, because everyone waits, because when it comes to the clothes, the clothes, the clothes, he always, if controversially, delivers. Tired and grumpy as that audience was, when the lights went down, necks craned and eyes lit up.

This spring’s collection is a smashup of color and layers: a trip to the inside of a lady’s wardrobe and right back out again. He played with notions of sex appeal and dress-up by placing silhouettes of lingerie, and sometimes the lingerie itself, outside the clothes. It was lovably mad, featuring kooky hair festooned with bicycle wheels and baby hats, cat’s-eye glasses, and deranged shoes.


The elaborate set at the spring Marc Jacobs show.  

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