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style + fashion

the art of getting dressed.

Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter 2012

Caitlin Surakitbanharn

i have a friend every season who is able to somehow finagle me into the Marc Jacobs show as her '+1' - and every season we sit in our seats, say to each other "i wonder what it'll be like!" and we wait for 8 pm on the dot. Marc is never late, in fact, he is occasionally a minute or two early.  it's very chic.  and every season when the lights drop i think to myself "oh my god i am the luckiest bitch alive to be here."  

every season, by the time Monday night of fashion week arrives, i'm always disenchanted.  listening to the crowds at shows bitch about how they're tired, they're over it, the gift bag is shit, that they're fashion-week delusional, did you see that girl wearing last season's Miu Miu booties still ...ew?  they're annoyed, they're bored, blah blah's very sad.  millions of girls (or boys!) would DIE TO SIT IN YOUR SHOES.  you people in the fashion industry have the coolest job in the world - you get to devote an entire week of your life to watching artists show you their beautiful work...and you spend it bitching?  ugh.

and then Marc Jacobs happens.  every's so fantastical, so glamorous, so beautiful, such a SHOW.  every season i leave, call my mom to tell her about it, and i say the same thing.  i tell her "mom, his shows remind me why I LOVE FASHION."  Marc makes fashion fun - he takes it to the next level, makes dressing up an art.  and this season he took us on quite a trip.

oh yeah - you're seeing this right.  every girl in Marc's fall collection marched out wearing furry mink pimp hats!  see what i mean by he took us on a trip?  the collection was the most incredible mixture of reference; i saw Charles Dickens, Eliza Doolittle, Mary Poppins, Dr. Seuss, Alice in Wonderland's Mad Hatter...even a little bit of Oliver Twist (whose soundtrack, incidentally, was the hauntingly serene music that reverberated through the Armory... 'i'm so high, i swear i could fly...').  oh wait - can't forget the final reference...THE PILGRIMS OF PLYMOUTH ROCK.  natch.

the pilgrims of Plymouth Rock are suddenly relevant in the form of Marc Jacobs shoes with rhinestone buckles.  i mean...STOPPPP. it's too much chic to handle!  okay..on to the oh my, ladies, prepare yourselves for padded hips and bustled asses.  like Victorian-style bustled asses...and padded hips.  yes, you are reading that right!  the focus this season was not on the body, but on the fantastic fabric and exaggerated hip.  shoulders were still narrow, but what you really noticed were the beautiful florals, the wools laced with tinsel, lacquered plastic skirts in mustard yellows & metallic black, and the stunning brocades in the most beautiful red...

the entire collection was one in layering, but never in such a way the girls looked dowdy.  it was knit stoles over wool overcoats over wool skirts over cropped pants...paired with the tinsel socks & the beyond fantastic mink fur hats, made by the genius milliner Stephen Jones.  interestingly enough, the shapes of the outfits varied, yet all came off the same.  some longer coats, some cropped, some double breasted pea coats, others recall the basic single breasted gentleman's overcoat...yet none lost the common thread of the show.  

the girls even seemed to exude a kind of kid-from-the-streets innocence, almost as if they'd truly walked off the pages of Oliver Twist.  despite the obvious richness of the fabrics, and the incredible exuberance in the patterns, colors, and silhouette, there was actually something approachable about this season's Marc girl.  she is not the strict dominatrix with a whip straight 22-inch ponytail like she was a year ago....she had sweet innocence, yet eccentricity to her. perhaps she's of a fallen monarchy - a Victorian era princess who's lost her place in the world, among castle ruins now, but is left now with her beautiful clothes that she must layer to stay warm...

(a particular favorite - the jacket is just so stunning)

but you know what they say..the devil is the in details...and the details of this show truly are what make it levels above everything else that we saw all week...  again, it's all in the fabric here, the beautiful craftsmanship, that takes it from being oversized and dowdy to chic, girlish, and actually bit innocent.

(the finale - the girls walking among the Rachel Feinstein set - the ruins of a once grandiose castle...)

this collection - this is why i love fashion.  i love the fantasy, i love putting on clothes and transforming myself into something or someone or some time that's different.  i like to put clothes on that feel special.  Marc Jacobs only knows how to send special pieces down his to put on such a show that you dream for months about putting those jackets on, putting those shoes on, and running to catch the subway...and the man walking down the street stops to wonder...who was that girl (that just ran past me in sparkling pilgrim shoes?)?!

so while all the fashion people are bitching that they're tired and so over it - they must excuse me, for i'm dreaming up ways to wear a pink mink fur pimp hat and how to acquire that particular floral kaleidoscopic print jacket (and those tinsel socks).  i'm too busy having fun with getting dressed to bitch that my seat isn't perfect.

(for the record...i'd sit in the f'ing rafters at a Marc Jacobs show if that's what i was given.  i love his shows that much)

(all photos via