Marc Jacobs SS18: Don't Call It a Comeback
My last memory of a Marc Jacobs collection was his Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear show, where a white-washed cast of 52 women strode down the runway in eccentric-colored mini dresses and 6” platform sandals, their heads piled high with rainbow dreadlocks. Its blatant cultural appropriation and aggressively playful aesthetic did nothing for me other than put Jacobs back on my radar for all the wrong reasons.
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A miracle happened between Jacobs’ Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear show and his most recent Fall 2018 Ready-to-Wear show to garner him such an astoundingly fresh creative vision. It wasn’t long ago that Jacobs’ design team hired Baja East’s co-founder, John Targon, to take on the brand’s budget line, a structural change that Jacobs has yet to comment on. Regardless of whether or not Jacobs supported this move, perhaps it put just the right pressure on the designer to redeem his namesake label. Afterall, Jacobs has been in the line of fire for months now—last January LVMH’s Bernard Arnault was quoted by BoF stating he was “more concerned about Marc Jacobs than the US president.”
Jacobs’ recent Fall 2018 Ready-to-Wear collection was gloriously anachronistic, with newfound inspiration from the icons of 80s haute couture. Silhouettes were massive, with broad hulking shoulders, voluminous necklines, structured bolero hats, and gem-toned suitings. Jacobs was fully-committed to an authentic 80’s power-dressing look—one that’s been referenced delicately in the past by designers like Jacquemus, Balenciaga, and Gucci—but never in such an absolute capacity. Jacobs’ homage-on-steroids instantly proved him a relevant authority in the modern fashion conversation.
After such an incredible show, looking back on his Spring 2017 collection is truly hard to swallow. The Marc Jacobs woman from just four seasons ago is unrecognizable in his latest work—a move that, perhaps for both Jacobs’ sake and our own, is for the best. Yet, as instagram collectively loses their shit posting images from Jacob’s show, it only feels natural to ask: Can a designer so previously disregarded really make a long-lasting comeback? At what point does a very successful designer fall from public opinion and how does he then transcend his own misguided decisions to win back the favor of his critics? It’s easy to see Marc Jacobs is on the right path, however one show does not forgive an era of mediocrity.