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Marc Jacobs takes us into his dollhouse to celebrate 40th birthday

The fashion show marking Marc Jacobs’ 40th anniversary brought back the paper dolls of the 1960s, and the iconic Diana Ross of that era.

Marc Jacobs takes us into his dollhouse to celebrate 40th birthday

From his early days in the fashion world to becoming the mastermind behind groundbreaking collections for Louis Vuitton, Jacobs has left an indelible mark, and his 40th birthday – as a brand – could not be any less. Already the 40th anniversary campaign, unveiled last week and starring the likes of FKA Twigs and Lil Uzi Vert, paid homage to the diversity that has contributed to the brand’s infectious appeal. Irony, playfulness, a sense of humor, and a bit of provocation… ingredients that were also not missing from the video he surprise uploaded to Instagram of himself blowing out the birthday candles. There were so many candles on that cake creating a massive fire that Jacobs had no choice but to grab his iconic tote bag, and run out of his room. Was he staying with us, or was it just a brilliant way to introduce his new collection? Whatever the case, the designer was starting to let us in on his child’s play.

And that child’s play came to a head on Friday with his Spring/Summer 2024 runway show. Upon entering The Park Avenue Armoury pavilion, guests found themselves immersed in the doll universe created by Jacobs. Tables and chairs of ironically large proportions greeted attendees. It was a sculpture by the late artist Robert Therrien, through which models paraded in oversized looks that fused the fashion of the 1960s with the paper doll aesthetic. Although Diana Ross’s influence on the aesthetic was also evident. The stunning bouffant hair, exaggerated eyelashes and circle mirrors of the latest looks captured the essence of a vibrant era in music and fashion.

The puffed shoulders and perceived stiffness of the garments channeled that essence of playfulness. Wearing thick fabrics with intense colors and textured brooches, as the collection progressed, the buttons and metal hoop details expanded to giant proportions. Jacobs’ wrists also carried huge rounded leather bags, which featured expanding zippers and metallic hoop details.

Her sub-brand was also invited to the dollhouse. “Heaven” debuted on the runway taking the form of cropped hoodies and pucker-bottom ensembles, with the iconic double-headed teddy bear logo being the starring detail of each garment. These were interspersed with pieces that seemed to pay homage to icons such as the HM x Margiela bodysuit or the Loewe dolls, introduced in FW23 runway.

So, the show celebrating 40 years of Marc Jacobs, while it could have been a tour of his successes, was an exciting exploration of proportions and of a reality, perhaps, nonexistent outside of those children’s games. Rather, the proposal was a look at the evolution of our view of the world through fashion; a testament to the creativity and unique vision that has defined the brand over four decades.

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