MARC BY MARC JACOBS AW15’16 READY-TO-WEAR NEW YORK FASHION WEEK
Fashion and politics are uncomfortable bedfellows. That is, until the relationship is inescapable. Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier made a new collection for Marc by Marc Jacobs that started with a blast of T. Rex’s “Children of the Revolution.” Models walked in elongated silhouettes branded “Suffragette,” “Solidarity,” and “Unite.” That militant mood was amplified in army khaki and details like bellows pockets on skirts and studs on boots. Girl power with balls. Even when the clothes went femme, they were all about the oak leaf patterns of William Morris, who was as much a social activist as he was a visual arbiter of the late 19th century. Or else they had a mini-crini shape that suggested the fashion radicalism of Vivienne Westwood in the early ’80s.
In Bartley and Hillier’s Britain, there has been a raging debate of late about the teenage girls who have been seduced by the online blandishments of ISIS terrorists to join their cause in the Middle East. That warped testament to the power of popular media insinuated itself as a subtext into today’s show, except here, the empowerment was all on the side of positivity. But the designers recognized the urgency of the moment when they marched their girls out in military ranks to the tune of John Lennon’s “Instant Karma”…a new model army. The proposal was not an easy one, but it was certainly a potent response to tough times.