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Marc Jacobs RTW Spring 2012 Video

The clothes were stellar, from the obviously chic to some joyfully risky business.

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Marc Jacobs RTW Spring 2012

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Come on, babe, why don’t we paint the town? Actually, Marc Jacobs has been doing that forever with his clothes, treating us to some of the most exciting fashion in the world. In just the past five years, give or take, he’s also proven himself New York’s most audacious showman, unveiling his collections via ambitious, highly entertaining productions.

But first a digression. Asked on Wednesday whether his hurricane-induced move to Thursday might become permanent, Jacobs replied, “I’m not thinking past today. I don’t know what I’m doing about anything.” Perfect setup. So, about Dior? Jacobs offered that his primary concern “has nothing to do with salary. I mean, I’d be honored to do Dior. But I work with a team, and I’d like to be able to keep working with them. I think it would be really exciting. I wouldn’t be able to say no.”

Back to the collection. With it, Jacobs acknowledged the showman role explicitly, riffing brazenly on Bob Fosse, not with bowlers and tap shorts but via his staging, a sky-high golden metallic stage curtain opening on his 46 girls, each sprawled theatrically across a chair, channeling her inner Bebe Neuwirth. Jacobs sat behind them onstage, the Fosse-esque director.

“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight,” the soundtrack repeated over and over as a spotlight singled out a girl who then rose and walked the length of the runway, showing her stuff. As he did last season, Jacobs claimed a pure archival collection, revisiting the things he loves. “I’m really tired of people saying I’m not consistent,” he said, “because I read just the same themes every single time.” Here, that meant a gear switch from the strict sexpot of fall to a more girlish type, a Mod Daisy Buchanan with a penchant for shimmy stuff. The clothes were stellar, from the obviously chic — the supple leather coats with fringed touches, the boxy jackets in hip-length and cropped versions, the cashmere sweaters and tony sweatshirts — to some joyfully risky business. Jacobs is on a synthetics kick, which he realized both subtly (poly-gingham) and in your face: dresses and skirts made from silicone, silk woven with Christmas-tree tinsel, even cellophane, its rumpled transparency revealing layers of modest silk lingerie.

It all made for fabulous, if imperfect, viewing. Given the lighting and distance between audience and stage, you couldn’t fully appreciate the details of the clothes. Re-see required to take in all that jazz.