How Can We Not Talk About Marc Jacobs?

10:02 AM

It's not really the end of NYFW until Marc Jacobs has his final say. There is a lot to say on this particular collection, both negative and positive. Let's start with the positive. 

The collection was a fantastic, mesmerizing ode to rave culture. The shortest of hotpants and dresses made their way down the runway in shimmering silver or pastel rainbow. Probably not intentional but there was almost a hint of the Japanese Lolita trend with a few Victorian and babydoll mini dresses featuring high lace necks with bows, feathery sleeves and plenty of ruffles. It was fun to see Marc Jacob's different take on the 1990s. While plenty of designers have been quick to reference the grunge movement, or the combination of chokers with slip dresses over t-shirts of the 90s, Marc took a completely different route and referenced bright, rainbow colored club kids. It was fun, it was exciting, and it was far different than what we had seen the days prior.

While the sky high shoes are rather impractical (though don't tell the Spice Girls that), the rest of collection had plenty of wearable pieces that would also allow you to stand out from the crowd. I loved this blue/silver metallic moto jacket with fur cuffs around the arms, this insanely cool purple satin embellished blazer, and this green mini dress. The accessories were surprisingly a little more tame than the wildness of the clothes with this pretty purple crossbody being a fav and this brown messenger bag. Other bags featured a patch like feel with bright images of fingers, piles, frogs, eyes and planets that seem like imagery you would find under a mind altering substance. The military looks with army print jackets and dresses felt a bit out of place and was the weakest part of the collection fashion wise when compared to the club outfit goodness.

Now that we've got the positives out of the way, let's talk about the elephant in the room. The hair. When I saw the first model coming down the runway with her multicolored locs I cringed. I totally got the look that Marc Jacobs was going for, an over the top rave culture reference but when reading about the inspiration behind the look, I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth.

Marc's stylist, Guido Palau, says they were looking at "rave culture, club culture, acid house, Boy George, Marilyn, Lana Wachowski, Japanese Harujuku girls, ravers..." But where (or actually who) do we typically see the loc style? People of color, it's a look predominately found in African-American communities where it's still seen as negative on them - remember when Zendaya wore locs to the Oscars and Giuliana Rancic commented that it looked like she 'smelled like patchouli oil or weed" reinforcing a negative stereotype on POC individuals who sport locs. However, as it's usually the case when the white community takes something from POC, on them it is seen as cool and edgy. 

Essence hints the nail on the head with the problem. Sporting locs themselves is not an issue, BUT once you fail to acknowledge the true inspiration behind these looks it becomes problematic, especially when you are designer. There are SO many POC in the arts and beyond Marc and his team could have mentioned. Essensce lists: George Clinton of Parliament Funkadelic, Bob Marley, Lisa Bonet, Lauryn Hill, Whoopi Golderg, Lenny Kravitz, Jean Paul Basquiat.... Don't want to mention a specific person? They could have easily said they were inspired by locs worn by rave kids that were adopted from the African American community. 

It's a shame because while it's a wonderful collection in itself, the failure to acknowledge the contributions that POC have made in fashion and style is a problem. And one that could have easily been avoided.  

(All Photos from: Marc Jacobs)

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