After nearly 16 months without a live show, Marc Jacobs returned to the runway with a flourish, displaying his Fall 2021 collection and highlighting high fashion’s evolution as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
With an emphasis on puffy futurism, the collection focuses on the new adventures wearers can look forward to post lockdown. Titled “Happiness," the collection places value in the creativity of the designers and those who wear them, and a new purpose for fashion.
“On the journey back to doing what we love most, in the wake of immeasurable loss, loneliness, fear, anxiety and uncertainty, I am reminded of why creativity is so vital to our existence," Jacobs states in a press release. “Through the physicality of this shared experience, I hope to offer a moment of inspiration, curiosity, wonder and possibility.”
The collection crosses the high-end fashion of old with zapping culture shocks of the new. Long, exquisite coats are adorned with dozens of logos, while others feature checkered patterns and draping tails. Face masks still play a heavy role in multiple designs. Jacobs’ latest edition has been noted as a leap into the new state of the industry; one that features the carefully thrown-together and “rule-breaking” wardrobes of Gen Z, as Vogue describes.
Inspiration for this collection can be traced back to any number of sources. Matthew Schneier of New York Magazine's The Cut attended the show at Jacob’s New York Public Library venue and said the draping tails reminded him of urban socialites of old. He also said he style itself could be traced to a number of things, including the Space Age, the '60s, the old New York rave, and even Kenny McCormick from South Park; all “Marc,” as Schneier puts it.
“We find purpose in the work from and for periodic but powerful transcendent moments of joy,” Jacobs stated, “and while the world continues to change with unimaginable speed, my love for fashion, the desire to create and share collections through this delivery system—the runway—endures.”
Beyond the references, there are underlying themes of growth and new direction embodied in both the collection and the show itself. Phelps of Vogue wrote that the collection “codified” the fashion sense of Gen Z as “gender-irrelevant” and body positive, while Schneier noted that the show began with the display of the models in the coats, but finished with the display of more open-flowing outfits, a step into the future that Jacobs emphasized in his statements.
The collection was paired with the announcement that the collection will only be available at Bergdorf Goodman, one of New York City’s most famous luxury department stores. It’s a departure from the norm for Jacobs, whose collections are usually available in stores around the world, but with an emphasis on customer appraisal and comprehension on how to move forward.
“As a born and raised New Yorker, Bergdorf Goodman has always been and continues to be a beacon of aspiration, service and quality,” Jacobs states. “As we consider the future of our runway collections, our exclusive partnership with Bergdorf’s will allow us to offer our customer an unparalleled qualitative approach to owning the runway.”
As the world begins to emerge from their cocoons once more, perhaps a change in wardrobe is just what the doctor ordered.
See the full runway show and more of the collection in the photos below. Learn more at MarcJacobs.com.
Photography by: YouTube video; courtesy Marc Jacobs