Jacobs Post-Pandemic Track: Parade of Patterned Puffer Jackets

NEW YORK (AP) — Theaters are dusting off cobwebs and coming to life, the streets of downtown Manhattan are bustling, Bruce Springsteen is back on Broadway. And on Monday, the fashion world came together to join another New York staple, designer Marc Jacobs, in celebrating the return of live shows.

“Through the physicality of this shared experience, I hope to provide a moment of inspiration, curiosity, wonder and possibility,” Jacobs wrote in the program notes for her fall collection, a stunning show by op-art inspired puffers and shimmering sequins. space-age glitter, held under the grand arches of the main branch of the New York Public Library.

Jacobs, whose inventive shows usually end New York Fashion Week with a burst of creative energy, opted not to wait for the next edition, which returns in September; he decided to launch this, his first collection after skipping two seasons during the pandemic, in the heat of a Manhattan summer. On a sweltering evening, he delighted fans and passers-by: the show was simultaneously projected onto the facade of Bergdorf Goodman, the luxury department store about 15 blocks from Fifth Avenue, where the collection will be sold exclusively.

The clothes themselves were an appealing mix of puffer jackets and coats in billowing black and white stripes, some rustling on the floor like glamorous ball gowns on a ski slope – and huge bright round sequins sporting long dresses and skirts, sometimes with pants underneath. It was like a winter wonderland meeting a shimmering red carpet, complete with a refueling stop in another galaxy.

Models, including Gigi Hadid and Kaia Gerber, often wore knit balaclavas or peaked caps, with braids sticking out the back. And they were wearing chunky black platform shoes, one of which fell off its owner at the start of the show. (An ingenious model eventually gave him a healthy kick to the side of the track.)

The down jacket theme has become wildly inventive, with puffed collars to wrap around the neck (and reach the ear), or puffy stoles to wrap around the shoulders. The show ended with a series of brightly colored garments in orange, pink, purple or sunshine yellow. One might imagine they were a nod to the creator’s mood: his program notes began with the word “Happiness.”

“On my way back to doing what we love most, from immeasurable loss, loneliness, fear, anxiety and uncertainty, I am reminded of why creativity is so vital to our existence, to life,” Jacobs wrote.

He explained that his company’s decision to skip pandemic seasons, when many labels were showing digital presentations, “allowed us to slow down, reflect, ruminate, reassess, mourn and take a deep inventory of what works, what doesn’t, what we love, what we are willing to give up and what has value, importance and meaning.

What works, Jacobs clarified, are the in-person shows. “As the world continues to change at unimaginable speed, my love for fashion, the desire to create and share collections through this delivery system – the runway – endures,” he wrote.

Some of the outfits were so shamelessly bulky that they brushed the viewers’ feet – a vital sign that it was real, not a digital presentation.

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