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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Marc Jacobs' Seventies Chic Revival

Godfrey Deeny
September 14th, 2010 @ 1:45 PM - New York

If you ever wanted to see a whole decade flash before your eyes in just ten minutes, then you should have attended the Marc Jacobs show when the seventies raced by in girly, multicolor glory on Monday, Sept. 13, in New York.

Though the collection was quintessentially Jacobs, the designer performed like a visual jazz musician riffing through a whole series of references to the era once defined as the Me Decade.

From hair and makeup that echoed seventies supermodels like Pat Cleveland and Marisa Berenson, to looping jersey prints that recalled revered London mega boutique Biba, to Paris elements like Yves Saint Laurent or Kenzo, the whole show was overloaded with that decade’s extravagant style. Jacobs’ sampling, faint subversion and sense of irony made it all work, for the most part, with a swell sense of occasion.

Staged in his preferred show space, Manhattan’s Lexington Armory, the show boasted a great set – another of Jacobs’ forte. This season it was a giant faux hammered gold chalice, out of which emerged the models, to march at a fierce clip around a huge circular runway. Driving them on was the "Summer" movement from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” hotly remixed by DJ Frederic Sanchez.

Fashion aficionados leaving the show muttered the names of American actress Ali McGraw or French houses Dorothee Bis and Sonia Rykiel, so rife were the play on images of that glamorous era of three decades ago.

“I loved the seventies. They were when I grew up with fashion and fell in love with fashion, and the decade has always inspired me. So using its imagery and ideas seemed just right this season,” explained Jacobs backstage, in between puffs on a cigarette.

Yet, this was very much an historical homage on Jacobs’ own terms, where the models frequently looked like they were heading home at dawn from an all-nighter in a discotheque. Their eyes were circled in black and blue, their hair frizzy and askew.

Many wore what looked liked scraps of leather wrapped around their hips, several boasted huge straw Southern Belle hats in more references to that era, remembered for its egotism and insouciance.

Opening with a long series of looks in hues of plum, peach, violet and burgundy, there were flowing halter neck jumpsuits, layered crepe cocktails and lots of see-through chiffon dresses. Skirts were cut well below the knee, jackets finished with large lapels – big looks for bold moments in life.

By Jacobs’ standards this was one of his least revolutionary shows, yet possibly all the more reason to think it will be highly influential in the fashion industry. It’s as if we should all get ready for the reopening of Studio 54.

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