Marc Jacobs Resort 18: Back on top or could do better?
Marc Jacobs’ collections used to be a big deal. Whether it was the diffusion Marc line or the real deal mainline, the shows were can’t-miss events, and the collections were full of must-have/must-copy pieces. Jacobs was just about the biggest draw New York Fashion Week had. And the fact that he staged a separate show for each of his two collections added to the good news, as did the added bonus of his Louis Vuitton show a few weeks later.
It wasn’t that Jacobs was the world’s greatest designer, but he always knew how to create a look that summed up the season, summed up its mood, and made you want to grab every piece.
But in recent seasons he’s gone off the boil somewhat. Over-styled runways and hard-to-wear pieces haven’t exactly helped the business case along and controlling shareholder LVMH doesn’t seem to have been too impressed either. While talking up the performance of some of its brands, the luxury group has always been fairly understated about Jacobs' line in its regular results announcements. In the most recent (for Q1, released in April), all it could managed was “Marc Jacobs continued its product lines changes and its restructuring”.
Well, if the Resort 2018 collection is an example of this product changes, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. It’s not a collection that will change the world, but it’s one that women will want to buy and can actually wear.
So what has Team Jacobs given us this pre-season? For a start, a rich seam of the season’s big trend - movement. Take a glance at all the lookbook shoots for other brands and you’ll see plenty of them with models looking like they’re playing Twister as they aim to push that movement element to centre stage.
And so it is for Jacobs. In his case, that movement boils down to fringes (lots of them), dangling bead and sequin embellishment, giant sequins in fish scale layers, and tiny frills.
But unlike the movement trend seen at many other labels, this one most definitely isn’t about volume cuts with Jacobs leaving behind his ultra-volume flirtation of not so many seasons ago. Instead there’s a retro feel that’s pure 60s. Not the Mod 60s or even the Hippy 60s, but a slightly more conservative version of the decade. Think Audrey Hepburn in Charade or Doris day in a Rock Hudson romcom.
Of course, there are casualwear essentials too. The chunky cardigan-as-coat, lightly embellished jeans, some great casual coats and more. But the main trend is eveningwear or dressy daywear.
It looks like the kind of collection that will sell, although the easy-to-copy detailing on many pieces could reduce its must-have appeal. It can be hard convincing women to part with £1,000 when someone can buy something similar for £50 (or when they can make it themselves with £40 worth of trimmings from Easy or eBay).