NEW YORK — Marc Jacobs has a knack for striking just the right notes before the curtain comes crashing down on Fashion Week in New York and this season’s vintage was no exception. This collection for Fall 2017 was the designer’s paean to hip hop, inspired after he watched the documentary Hip-Hop Evolution (2016), and the profound cultural transformations this art form has precipitated since its inception in the Bronx in the early 1970s. That this collection is here and now in 2017 ought to be reassuring for those rattled by travel bans and border walls in ways that T-shirts with naff slogans will never be. Hip hop has always been an oppositional force within society, one that spit truth to power. This collection was a timely reminder of hip hop’s enduring power, delivered in quite possibly the most elegant and luxurious idiom imaginable, viz., fur, python, leather, all in service of “everyday” dressing for the 21st century woman.
The staging was equally profound, consisting of single row, metal folding chair seating on either side of the bare runway that ran the length of an otherwise empty, and silent, Seventh Regiment Armory. Models traversed the wooden floor from Lexington to Park, where they exited the historic brick building, walked down the steps, and arranged themselves in a choreographed tableau on the sidewalk in front of a wall of speakers playing Isaac Hayes’s version of “Walk on By.” Fashion borne of the streets, returned to the streets, and in the hands of the people. This statement could not be missed, especially with the models snapping selfies with iPhones encased in lush cases by Marc Jacobs. Louis Vuitton notoriously partnered with Supreme in January for such an accessory moment, but this former Vuitton creative director stood defiantly on his own to make a statement. Whether this supremely wearable collection and its very salable accessories will soothe LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault’s “concern” is neither here nor there, this was Marc Jacobs at his defiant best.
Credits include: Client, Marc Jacobs; Collection, Women’s Ready-To-Wear Fall 2017; Clothing design, Marc Jacobs; Hair, Guido Palau; Makeup, Diane Kendal using Marc Jacobs Beauty; Manicure, Jin Soon Choi; Set design, Stefan Beckman; Music direction, Steve Mackey; Casting, Anita Bitton at The Establishment; Video, Damien Neva at Next Management.