Marc Jacobs RTW Spring 2023

There was equal parts exciting anticipation and nostalgia in the air on Thursday night at the Park Avenue Armory — Marc Jacobs had returned with an intimate runway show of his spring 2023 collection. 

Jacobs is a master of showmanship, which prevailed again, down to the tiny details. The venue’s setup consisted of a single row of chairs for showgoers, with a strobe of light defining the dark room’s runway; a pink-haired Jennifer Koh playing a violin solo of “Einstein on the Beach: Knee Play 2” by Philip Glass, and a unisex/gender-fluid cast of models donning his latest constructions.

While totally Jacobs’ own, the collection also was an ode to one of his fashion heroes: the late Dame Vivienne Westwood, quoting her as saying: “Fashion is life-changing, and I think it’s a lovely, generous thing to do for one another.”


Titled “Heroes,” Jacobs paid homage to those past and present with a collection that widely riffed on military and utility dress, but there were also strong throughlines of homespun craft, youth culture (a la punk, grunge), uptown meets gilded glamour and a strong homage to Westwood (hairdos and Mikimoto pearls included), whipped into a highly artistic collection. 

The show began with bedazzled, reworked denim and utility numbers with cargo pocketed and patchworked skirts with upside-down jackets. While in the past few seasons Jacobs has homed in on wrapping, draping, flipping, twisting, gathering, etc., with dystopian silhouettes, his looks on Thursday offered more elongated, slimmer proportions. But boy were they masterfully crafted ones, with ideas of mundane dress — like a simple ribbed turtleneck, turned into tops with its collars as bustier constructions (later also seen on beautiful leather dresses); dip-dyed cargo skirts with exaggerated, wrapped coats, matching mile-high, signature Kiki boots and opera-length leather gloves, and chopped and screwed knits — exploded into fantastic, couture-like confections.

While Jacobs refrained from commenting on his collection as a whole, his patchworked numbers (confirmed to be crafted with fabrications from vintage garments) similarly offered an ode to the DIY spirit with a continually strong play on proportions, as did his myriad Westwood-esque, glamorous bustier and bustled numbers in a mix of bright yellow and red hues, or with polka-dot motifs.

Stripped down to its bare bones (or rather, flipped right-side up), Jacobs’ garments proved as commercially savvy as they were creative, with his alluring dresses (the red carpet is waiting), beautiful topcoats (ranging from elongated military coats and exaggerated parkas to chevron furs and quilted patchwork numbers) and plush knits. Furthermore, his reconstruction of garments and play with volumes is creating a new artistic outlook — and one that reminded all as New York Fashion Week looms why he is remains a shining star of American, and global, fashion.

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