Marc Jacobs loves a runway show, to the point that rather than attempt to simulate one during the pandemic, he’s only presented a single collection over the course of the past two years. At least, that’s what it seemed like when the fall 2022 season of New York Fashion Week came and went without any sign of the 51-year-old designer. But when Telfar Clemens took over Jacobs’s usual grand finale slot this past Wednesday, Jacobs wasn’t just at home twiddling his thumbs. He was prepping to drop his own collection 48 hours later, making the leap to digital by simply posting it on Instagram.
“We were like, ‘we’re not showing until we can do a show the way we show,’” Jacobs told i-D after posting the surprise carousel featuring the abbreviated collection’s 10 looks. “But then, this time, me and Joseph [Carter, who is on Jacobs’s design team] and Alastair [McKimm, who styled the looks] decided that we were going to make some clothes. And we were going to photograph them.” They were also going to break with tradition and look back to his previous collection rather than move on to something entirely different. “I’ve always preferred to embrace that sort of radical departure,” Jacobs continued. “But it feels as though we’re in this period where what feels right is evolving. I had such a strong feeling about what we showed last time, and it stayed with me. I felt very strongly about saying, okay, we’re not going to do what we used to do. We’re going to do things differently and see how it goes. And I feel really good about it.”
Jacobs is an avid Instagram user—we highly recommend a follow—and the app ended up shaping his approach. Little did they know it when they tagging him in throwbacks, fans who’ve been looking back on, say, Lady Gaga’s dramatic hair and makeup at his gothic fall 2016 showing ended up directly influencing his latest. For the most part, though, the design team’s “appropriating and recontextualizing” of its own history focused on Jacobs’s vision for spring 2022. “We played with the clothes that we made before in order to make other, new clothes,” the designer explained.
With the word “elevate” in mind, they took things up a notch. “That's what we're doing with these pictures, with the hair and the makeup and the casting and the clothes,” Jacobs said. “We’re literally and figuratively raising them up to a more impressive level: It made no difference whether it’s denim that has been enzyme and acid-washed, or five pairs of cargo pants re-assembled. It was just in the approach.” The resulting standouts include a dramatic puffer gown worn by Mica Argañaraz and giant denim skirts worn by Gigi and Bella Hadid.
In case you couldn’t tell from the super-sized silhouettes, Jacobs isn’t among those asking “is that what people want to wear?” when taking in a show at fashion week. “I think, ‘Is this what fashion people want to see?,” he said. “Then, of course, if it’s something I want to see, it’s something I dream of wearing. And if I get to do my thing and then someone wears it and it becomes part of their story I just think, wow, I really won the lottery.” Judging from the Instagram comments, he did indeed. “10 is a GAGGGGGGG,” read one of many responses to the final, blanket-like look worn seen on Anok Yai below.