new york autumn winter 07/08

Marc Jacobs
by Marilyn Kirschner | photographed by Yannis Vlamos

Marc Jacobs's show on Monday evening unofficially kicked off Fashion Week. He traditionally sets the tone for the week (and beyond) and his is undoubtedly the most highly anticipated collection. Where Marc goes....others will be sure to follow. Last night, he made a strong case for a return to polish, sobriety and elegance (as well as longer lengths, real jewelry, serious fashion, menswear, beautiful tailoring, cufflinks, gloves, and hats) with a collection that could best be described as aristocratic.

Gone were the tricks, the brash metallics, the in your face bling, the balloon hems, the dolman sleeve blousons. Blame it on 'The Queen' and other movies and made for TV specials based on British royalty, but there was more than a just a slight nod to royalty in the restrained, non fussy, low keyed clothes of the sort favored by aristocrats. In fact, aristocratic would be a good way to describe not only the collection, but the look of the models as they walked the runway. But this is Marc don't don't think these were dull, lifeless, and boring basics. Anything but.

We were made to wait an hour and fifteen minutes for the show to begin, but when the lights went off, the curtain opened to reveal a stage set worthy of a Broadway extravaganza. Dozens of dressed to the nines models posed regally in front of a backdrop mimicking an elegant estate, and then each one took her turn walking down the runway. The first outfit said it all: a narrow belted midcalf red cavalry twill coat with dark navy cuffed trousers, accessorized with patent high heeled oxfords, a proper ostrich bag, a coral bracelet, and most importantly, a statement making fedora by the British milliner Stephen Jones whose hats (fedoras and cloches) were shown with every piece, (even with cocktail dresses and evening gowns). The colors were predominantly neutral (black, navy, tan, green) with flashes of red and mustard (the later in the form of leather gloves which accessorized many outfits). And in the finale, there were bright (fuschia and jade green) sequined tops boasting crisp white collars and cuffs (one was part of a jumpsuit and the other was a long dress).

There were felt pea jackets and corduroy trousers, felt Spencer jackets with pinstripe vests and polyester (yes, polyester!) trousers, printed silk twill blouses, intarsia mohair sweaters, 'boned and corseted' boy's cashmere sweaters, double faced wool color block coats with double faced shorts, three piece suits and tuxedos, smoking jackets, lanquid black velvet dresses and satin gowns. It was fashion with a capital 'F' and made me want to rethink my entire wardrobe.

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