Marc Jacobs Spring 2023 Show
Meg Parrott reviews the new collection from one of New York's finest
After the passing of Dame Vivienne Westwood last December, Marc Jacobs was just one of the thousands who shared tributes to the iconic designer on Instagram. With the hashtag #anotherherogone, the shirt in Westwood’s portrait read: ‘be reasonable, demand the impossible.’ With this in mind, it was Jacobs who excelled at capturing the near impossible with his new Spring 2023 offering. Titled Heroes in an ode to the late Mother of Punk, the collection was a masterful lament not only in aesthetics, but also in spirit.
Ever since his seminal grunge showing at the helm of Perry Ellis in 1992, disrupting the zeitgeist has always been a staple in Jacobs’ creative diet and design lexicon. With styling by Alastair McKimm, this season proved to be no exception. Dressing a post-apocalyptic world, the catwalk staged a 45-look dystopian-inspired spectacle.
To the discordant soundtrack of violinist Jennifer Koh, an army of models marched down the starkly lit halls of New York’s Park Avenue Armory. Strong, willowy creatures strode cloaked in globular draping, offset by the glamour of Mikimoto pearls and the grace of elongated leather gloves.
Splashes of scarlet, lemon yellow and magenta on billowing ruching or choppy mullets captured the rebellious attitude with couture-like execution. Here, the All-American designer clearly decided to take a trip back to the vibrant punk streets of London’s Kings Road.
At times, nonchalantly folded arms created profiles that echoed Westwood’s 1970s ‘SEX’ era straitjackets and bondage suits. Elsewhere, olive militia knits with conical busts jostled with pragmatic pockets for nods to utilitarian principles. It was a requiem with pages torn straight from Westwood’s book of rejecting conventions, reinvented with Jacobs’ signature drama.
Renditions of the sky-high Kiki Boot, crushed velvet folded into mesmerising shapes and floor skimming coats added to the theatricality of it all. The trademark polka dot returned for the new this season, but this time enlarged and imposing. Architectural silhouettes and exaggerated proportions furthered Jacobs’ intentional warping of traditional female forms.
This was a toast to “all of our heroes past, and young heroes present,” the designer said in his show notes. And, just like Vivienne Westwood before him, the defiant new spring collection proved why Marc Jacobs is the hero he is to the next generation of designers and fashion lovers eagerly following in his footsteps.
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