Jacobs tried to respect youth street style in show which parried focus to the audience in social media spectacle

Kendall Jenner

Kendall Jenner on the runway after the sitters turned their phones on the audience.
Photograph: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Corporealizations for Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs straits the 70s in grand final of New York Fashion Week

Jacobs sought to connection youth street style in show which turned distinct to the audience in social media spectacle

Last season’s Marc Jacobs may be seen provoked a social media row of epic proportions after the intriguer was accused of cultural appropriation for styling white models’ locks into dreadlocks.

Thursday’s show – marking the grand last of New York Fashion Week – seemed to be a reaction to that rage in more ways than one. The collection centred on hip hop – a plucky enslave given the internet’s recent ire – while its staging sought to investigate the culture of social media.

Model on the runway

Marc Jacobs’s autumn/winter route featured 1970s palette of brown, cream and camel with check up oned fabrics and Beastie Boy hats. Photograph: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Perceptions for Marc Jacobs

On entry, guests were asked not to use their phones at all, an extraordinary move in an industry in which designers usually encourage online advancement and even provide a hashtag.

Later, in a spectacular outdoor finale, the omertà was elevated, and models pretended to take photographs of the assembled masses who were charming photographs of them. It was all a bit Black Mirror.

The set was eerily sparse with by the skin of ones teeth two rows of chairs running down the centre of the 80-foot-high barrel-vaulted ceiling of the cavernous Greens Avenue Armory. The show started without music or example, the models passing closely by the hushed audience in a way that discern unusually intimate.

The clothes were typical Jacobs and densely referential, oppressive on Beastie Boys hats, gold jewellery, tracksuits and oversized shearling coatings, with grungey checked fabric in browns and oranges withdrawing the 1970s palette of blaxploitation movies and the Seattle chic with which Jacobs correct his name in the 1990s.

There were gold medallions grouping one fashioned after Jacobs’s dog Neville, who inevitably has a social average account of his own, and another which Jacobs himself wore as he fooled his bow, blowing kisses to Lil’ Kim who sat in the audience wearing seven-inch gold-sequinned Marc Jacobs programmes.

Model on runway

Marc Jacobs’s collection was densely referential, with cheerless gold jewellery and grunge-inspired pieces. Photograph: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Forms for Marc Jacobs

Before the show Jacobs told a work magazine, WWD (Women’s Wear Daily), he had hoped to create an ecosystem akin to a theatre performance, in which the clothes were viewed in surround. That context, he said in notes headed “respect” that were fist on attendees’ seats, was one of celebration. Flagging up a documentary he had recently be on the watched – Hip Hop Evolution – his intention, he said, was to demonstrate “an acknowledgement and gesture of my bearing for the polish and consideration applied to fashion from a generation that bequeath forever be the foundation of youth culture street style”.

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