With the last show on the last day of the New York Collection, Mark Mac Jacobs has finally transformed into what fashion – and everyone else, went missing for the subject. He gave it heart and history; Glory and urgency. He gave it a lay-line that connected Carole Armitage, “Punk Ballerina,” who danced part of the show and modeled Miley Cyrus, to Miley Cyrus, the former Disney star of Punk.
After all, he gave it a scale.
There were more than 50 dancers operating in the sprawling Park Avenue Armory, where small wooden bistro tables were arranged like a stage in a depression-era cabaret. More than 50 men and women – Starlet pink bra-and-big pants combos, silver shift dresses, Easter egg pastel sweaters, white lab coats and pumps in the 1950s – wristbands and collapses, pulled on one side; Moving to the sink and then going against the tide.
More than 3 models, streaming, suburban Kashmiri car coat and matching day dresses; Built-in slouchy trousers and crew necklaces with conical bras, often have a Peter Pan-collar shirt underneath; Sweat and camel pierots in shiny gray black. Three-dimensional metallic burst of silver and emerald green and evening gowns in Kautilyan clothing enc
A city wardrobe that once had skyscrapers and ballrooms, typist pools and art collections and now never again. The dream dresses were New York.
In the end, the models stood as frosty as the very glamorous perp line, and the choreographers shook the audience and interpreted their way between tables of movement toggling between the surrounding and the horror. Arms and legs were everywhere. This is where we are now. However, chaos has rarely been seen.
Both the macro and micro-scales have a tendency to look around and become frustrated at the moment. Lots of helpless listening. Mr. Jacobs took that confusion and rectified it. Not as a kind, gentle light or a fantasy, but as a source of memory and creation.
This garment can easily come off as inflated and self-important, if the clothing is not fully restrained. For a long time, Mr. Jacobs did his show at New York Fashion Week early on, until he decided he had the last word. It is far more responsible for rewarding yourself.
Nevertheless, his dreams of becoming a global public brand may have shrunk – he has only five stores, Down from 250 in 2013 – her dreams of using fashion to crystalize a shared moment are still memorable.
Lately it seems like he is the only one who still believes this is possible. Big brands have gone out of town with big dreams of shaping our myths rather than creating beautiful dresses and grandfather sneakers. The last one to challenge Mr Jacobs was Calvin Klein under Raf Simons and it ended more than a year ago.
New names with balls and vision keep scooting off in different directions, following their nose. If this show did show anything, it was that the live experience of a collection could still trump any short film or social media.
This has been a terrific minor New York. Many designers are either not on the schedule or out of town, but not many, but those who have shown these national, petty aspirations because everyone is starting to think of themselves as small is actually the wave of the future. Intimate show; Personal clothing – it was a good thing! Life is so crazy and huge now that designers are recognizing that they know their place. Smart, really. Right?
Within 10 minutes or so of fully calibrated mayhem, Mr. Jacobs expressed the intensity of the idea.
This is not a city that was built on baby steps or obsession with humbly rebuilding the past. It was built on insane risks and failures; The earthquake of imagination and building which is forever upward. New York Fashion Week is part of why it exists. It’s not just about the Garments District. It is a metaphor for possibilities beyond its boundaries.
Fashion – and the people who wear it – can fall into the trap of that heritage or hide in its shadow.