Marc Jacobs closed NYFW Spring/Summer 2020 on a jolly note. More so a theatrical performance than a standard runway event, the show took place at the historic Park Avenue Armory where white rattan chairs assembled incongruously to seat the fashion elite. The vast, high-ceilinged room — part American palace, part industrial warehouse — was filled with the tune of Doris Day’s “Dream a Little Dream of Me” as an army of models emerged in unison, displaying a rainbow of sparkling, colourful silhouettes that spoke to the joie de vivre of fashion.
Eighteen years ago, Marc Jacobs hosted his Spring/Summer 2002 show at Pier 54 on the eve of 9/11. “This show, like that show,” he wrote in his notes, “is a celebration of life, joy, equality, individuality, optimism, happiness, indulgence, dreams and a future unwritten as we continue to learn from our past and the history of fashion — exploring iconic images of the designers we love, forever catalogued, maintained and retained.”
There were references to Yves Saint Laurent in the film noir suits, nods to Karl Lagerfeld in the plush tweed numbers, and echoes of Jacobs’ own past seasons, rendered in larger-than-life proportions that flourished under this year’s ‘Camp’ lens. Personality and individuality were at the heart of the collection, among which sartorial odes to style icons — Doris Day, Shelley Duvall, Lee Radsiwill, Anita Pallenberg, Marina Schiano and Ann Reinking from All That Jazz — were matched with charismatic struts performed by today’s biggest supermodels. Kaia Gerber sashayed, a barefoot Gigi skipped, and Bella smouldered as she tipped her cowboy hat. There were 60 unique beauty looks, one for each model, created by makeup queen Pat McGrath and hair maestro Guido Palau.
There was something for everyone in Marc Jacobs’ fantasy. Floor-length prairie gowns to printed loofah dresses; one-legged blue jeans to three-piece spy suits; top hats to the bucket hats. Above all, it was an “unadulterated love of fashion and embracing grand gestures of unbridled expressions, reactions, ideas and possibilities.”