Fashion Month, that four-week extravaganza of shows, celebrities and clothes that has become a perfect vehicle of bite-size entertainment for our attention-fractured time, officially begins in New York on Friday before rolling out to London, Milan and Paris. In reality, however, it started a full week earlier, thanks to Marc Jacobs, who like many designers, stepped off the formal schedule during Covid but, unlike many, never looked back.
If his amuse-bouche of a collection is any sign of what is to come — and part of what makes Mr. Jacobs such an effective designer is his ability to hold a finger up to the wind and then capture that in clothes — we will be in for a banger of a season.
Anchoring one end of Mr. Jacobs’s runway was the Robert Therrien installation “No title (folding table and chairs, beige),” which features supersize metal furniture straight from a generic workplace (actually the Buffalo AKG Art Museum). That proved the frame for a parade of models in exaggerated midcentury bouffants and even more exaggerated skirt and short suits. The clothes were entirely out of proportion to the body, so the models looked like little girls who had raided their mothers’ closets. Or paper dolls.
Actual waists seemed to swim within waists, and jackets tented out at the back. Sweaters were knit with the shoulders inset oddly close to the neck, jerking the arms forward. Peplums started just under the breasts, abbreviating the torso, but shoes were gigantic platforms, so the legs looked endlessly long. Bags were supersize. Evening dresses gleamed with the light of hundreds of mirrored discs.
It was a meta-commentary about the disorientation of getting dressed, the debate over the return to office and the end of comfort clothes — all issues other designers may be wrestling with this season.
What else should you look out for?