Fashion maestro Marc Jacobs surprised the industry with a blink-and-you-miss-it runway show at the New York Public Library this week, showcasing the brand's Fall 2023/24 collection.
Departing from tradition, the models strutted at a breakneck pace, emulating the finale, after which Mr Jacobs took a bow. In total the show took just three minutes. With limited time to discern the collection’s details, observers noted meticulously tailored suits, nipped-in-the-waist dresses, paired with flat shoes and black tights. The monochrome palette made a powerful statement referencing the timeless allure and versatility of black and white fashion. Hair and makeup was very Debbie Harry, circa 1982.
Jacobs utilized AI to generate the show notes, revealing both the limitations and awe of machine critique in capturing the nuanced essence of fashion, history, and the current zeitgeist.
In this collection Jacobs played with structure and proportion, reimagining menswear for women, challenging conventions and highlighting the inherent beauty of tailored garments across genders. In a nod to the Instagram generation's short attention spans, the show comprised just 29 models, capturing the irony of our fast-paced digital age.
In an era of convoluted runway extravaganzas that often span over eighty looks, accompanied by opulent productions and celebrity-studded front rows, fashion can sometimes take a backseat to spectacle. However, Jacobs defies this trend, refusing to relegate his collection to mere gimmicks. Having exhausted the fashion industry's relentless cycle, he has previously orchestrated grandiose showcases during his tenure at Louis Vuitton, mastering the luxury industry's marketing playbook. This season, Jacobs rewrites the rules once again, underscoring his departure from the wheel-spinning frenzy.
Breaking away from convoluted runway extravaganzas
While Jacobs' collection shines amidst the industry's excesses, like the recent Louis Vuitton debut menswear presentation by Pharrell Williams, luxury brands in general exemplify the branding and marketing spectacle of selling trinkets to a global consumer base conditioned to equate such displays with glamour. The Financial Times recently referred to these products as naff, asking 'who buys this stuff?'
Nevertheless, Jacobs stays true to his vision. The pointed flat shoes, adorned with socks, and the sheer tights evoke an analog aesthetic, harking back to the eighties, an era preceding smartphones, social media, and the relentless churn of luxury fashion. For Marc Jacobs, the hamster wheel no longer holds his interest.