Invited to the Park Avenue Armory – a vast building that fills an entire block of New York’s Upper East Side – for the unveiling of Marc Jacobs’ Autumn/Winter 2017, show-goers could be forgiven for being a little surprised by the complete lack of theatrics on arrival. No set, no sound, simply two rows of folding chairs, with show notes left in folders and a request for no photography.
"As a born and bred New Yorker," the designer stated, "it was during my time at the High School of Art and Design when I began to see and feel the influence of hip-hop on other music as well as art and style. This collection is my representation of the well-studied dressing up of casual sportswear. It is an acknowledgement and gesture of my respect for the polish and consideration applied to fashion that will forever be the foundation of youth culture street style."
And so, without so much as a single musical note to signal the start of the show, Insta-star Slick Woods took to ‘the street’, followed by Brit model and Gurls Talk founder Adwoa Aboah, both wearing party-ready mini dresses topped with short coats – one in jumbo corduroy, the other houndstooth check – and souped-up hats by milliner Stephen Jones, which set the tone for the entire collection: easy, wearable clothes with a retro vibe that felt totally current.
How often do we really leave the house without a coat in winter? For those of us without a chauffeur, not often, hence almost every look was led by its last layer – from car coats and parkas to bombers, cabans and more besides, many boasting shearling, fur or faux fur trims. Shapes beneath either remained mini in proportion, or went uber-long, with flared jeans, cords, trackpants and tailored trousers puddling at the heels of platform shoes.
As the last look filed out of the Park Avenue exit, guests were encouraged to follow suit, emerging to find a block party, the full cast of models sat around and atop booming speakers. An Instagram moment if ever there was one, and a New York Fashion Week finale that surpassed all expectations.