Marc Jacobs: the middle-aged enfant terrible
Tuesday 15 February 2011
Limousine snarl-ups, bodyguards, scuffles in the entrance hall: even at nearly 48 years old, America's hottest designer Marc Jacobs remains everyone's favorite enfant terrible.
To unveil his latest collection, he chose the Lexington Armory, far from the more establishment setting of the Lincoln Center, headquarters of the Autumn-Winter 2011 New York Fashion Week.
And if the week has so far revealed a steady trend of heavy cloth, red colors and liberal use of fur, Jacobs, as usual, broke the rules.
The setting was the 1940s, but the models strutting down the catwalk were hyper-modern, 21st century - or more. They wore vinyl boots with stacked heels, pencil skirts and sequins.
There were a lot of rubber trousers, cellophane shirts and fake fur. Plus a healthy dose of polka dots, although not those of some romantic summer look but rather set against severe cuts.
The wild, space-age show had fashion bloggers gasping and proved that yet again Jacobs could turn up half way through Fashion Week and lead the pack.
For other designers, the big muse this year appears to have been the rigors of the harsh winter, sending creators to dig around for warm and cozy materials.
New York saw record snowfall in January so perhaps it's no surprise that furs and quilted jackets have made had such a heavy presence on catwalks, from Calvin Klein men to Catherine Malandrino or the Thai-American designer Thakoon Panichgul.
Alexander Wang set the tone on Saturday with thick black ponchos. Satin covered the legs and cashmere the top.
Wang said he wanted to mix "all types of coats, anoraks, parkas, capes."
On Sunday, Derek Lam showed flannel coats with sleeves in fur, a popular material this year, whether it's astrakhan, fox or mink.
Calvin Klein stepped forward with a men's collection that should suit those Wall Street hot shots as they navigate lower Manhattan's windy streets: big fur or leather coats, aviator jackets and electric blue puffas.
"I'm interested in the idea of protection" from the cold, said Italo Zucchelli, artistic director for CK menswear.
Catherine Malandrino nodded toward traditional nostalgia for her native France in a collection including romanticism and eccentricity. But she too made sure her leather coats and jackets were lined with fur.
Thakoon, one of the stars of a new American fashion wave, opted for the quilted look, not just in jackets but in dresses too.
Donna Karan came up with severe-looking black and white coats to warm up models wearing black mini-dresses.
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