She wore hot pants so short they offered little more coverage than a string bikini. More than once this week, I’ve had the strong feeling that designers are just pulling our legs.
In reality, Jacobs offered another great reason to celebrate fashion, with a collection that was finely tuned to the broader trend of hyper-embellishment and decadently decorative designs and simultaneously suggestive that he is off on his own planet somewhere. That’s a great place to be right now, as the industry is having a big case of the doldrums, particularly in New York, where designers are splitting into camps between showing fashion ahead of the season or during it. It’s confusing.
Jacobs struck a nice balance between the out-there Harajuku and drag outfits (topped with pastel dreadlocks inspired by Lana Wachowski) that appeared to be layered from the back stock of Patricia Field’s old store, with some mighty commercial basics, like camo military jackets and denim skirts. It wasn’t a sendup, really, but it was the kind of big production that keeps people interested and talking.
Interestingly, other New York designers opted for much smaller presentations as a way to reclaim some of the intimacy of fashion week. Sophie Theallet, when I pulled out my phone to take pictures of her terrific spring collection, told me to put it away. She only allowed photos of a couple of designs to be released, hoping to save some surprises for customers once they are produced for stores, and there were many terrific looks that features zippers that opened or closed to offer a customizable degree of sexiness. Derek Lam took this approach as well, and the results were super clean, chic, and to the point, largely because he allowed himself to ignore the demands of creating Instagram bait when he was designing.
“Keep it simple,” said Emily Ratajkowski, when I asked her about the takeaway from this season’s shows when I ran into her at DKNY the other night. She was wearing a bodysuit and hosiery from the label’s intimates collection and looked fabulous. In the end, that could easily have been the mantra of New York.