Marc Jacobs closes each New York Fashion Week with a reassurance that fashion in the big apple is alive and well as seen through the eyes of a New Yorker who allows the clothes to tell the story. Jacobs’ collection is an ode to New York and a love letter to women past and present. For Fall 2020, the designer paints a portrait of the iconic women he calls the hero’s he has admired over his entire career. The pillars of impeccable elegance, strength, bravery, dignity, and quirkiness. Though this collection is inspired directly from Jacobs’ own memories of New York, it is clearly designed for women of today.
From timeless tailored suits to elegant sporty sweaters with cone shaped inset cups, Jacobs has thoughtfully crafted a wardrobe full of everything the modern woman needs. Of course the most important item in any New York wardrobe is the perfect coat, of which there were countless options that all looked chic, but more importantly substantial and warm. The “It Silhouette” of the collection was most definitely a hybrid cocoon swing shaped coat, with rounded dropped shoulders and a slight A-line. Jacobs left no stone unturned in exploring new territory, and issued single breasted and double breasted jackets with and without collars and lapels, some came with matching fabric covered buttons and pocket flaps (which looked very mod) while a few sported big black buttons. There were a few coats in abstract zebra and leopard inspired prints. The super model Liya Kebede wore an exceptional mohair coat, also seen in fur, and a standout dusty pink. Jacobs tweaked the silhouettes with a cinched couture style sculpted waist and hips, and occasionally squared off and tightened up the shoulders. Buttons extended to the natural waist, creating the illusion of a high waistline and a longer skirt on both coats and blazers, which truly modernized the distinctly retro vintage inspirations. It’s easy to imagine how flattering and lovely these shapes will look on women of all ages and body types.
A nubby boucle wool fabric appeared not only in the incredible range of coats, but wound up as cocktail dresses that were some of the best in the collection. The empire waist dresses had the perfect amount of ease built in to make them look truly modern, while perfect seaming kept the shapes simple structure. Audrey Hepburn could have worn these very dresses, which came in a blood red, Cinderella blue or a white square necked version (which could also be a very minimalist nod to Hepburn’s Eliza Dolittle moment.) These are the dresses you want to wear and keep forever.
Jacobs has always excelled at designing ready to wear and every day clothing with the perfect amount of trendiness and timelessness, and only recently has he really delved into the world of evening gowns. This collection inspired by iconic New York women would hardly be complete without them, and Jacobs rounded off the collection with the ease of a true master. The pouf cocktail dress made several appearances, with some dresses made entirely of hand formed silk rosettes. A black off-the-shoulder gown near the end of the show was the true star, however. Its black sequins glistened like lizard skin on a mini dress with exploding pouf sleeves, soft folds and curves that contrasted with a triangular watteau draped back. The dress embodied the essence of the collection in one dramatic gesture. In the words of Marc Jacobs, “mythical and chic with its beauty, promise, sparkle and grit.” Just like the women who inspired it.