Two of the city’s fashion stalwarts were in a retrospective mood at New York Fashion Week FW18. While Marc Jacobs quoted directly from the self-aggrandizing 80s, and then some, Eugenia Kim displayed mega-star pieces from her archives alongside her latest head-turning creations.
Arriving along a severe, narrowly lit runway at the Park Avenue Armory, a moody succession of 80s silhouettes told a very contemporary tale. These were pieces sized at larger-than-life to fit our Trumpian times. Identities shadowed by broad-brimmed hats, or skewed with helmets of hair in deep velvet shades, to focus meaning outwards—on how we wear clothes to tell the story. All the main themes were there: monumental shoulders, colossal coats, slab-like suits, pleated high-rise pants, cinched waists, overblown ruffles and bows, even a puffball skirt. However, Jacobs tempered all that braggadocio by using a palette that smoldered with a subdued opulence, lit with jewel-like flashes. If the sheer scale could be overwhelming, his witty detailing was irresistible. A noteworthy moment: geometric crystals gave directional focus to an electric pink top, while mimicking the teeth of a zipper. Meanwhile, the retro accessories making a comeback were cute quilted fanny packs and knockout jewels worn over leather gauntlets.
Give Kim a cast of twelve models, all wearing black cat suits, kohl-rimmed eyes and scarlet lips, and it’s guaranteed she’ll make every one of them stand out as an individual. It’s what she does. Hers is a talent for surreal invention, for the outrageously unique. Her real gift, however, is that she makes those theatrical accessories so wearable, too. For the presentation held at Pier 59 Studios, hats, handbags and scarfs came feathered, furred, studded, and bejeweled. Key pieces included: a red calfskin tote and a black fedora adorned with one of the collection’s key motifs—jewels worn over full-length gloves; a white equestrian cap with jaunty multicolored feather quills; a hexagonal-brimmed hat featuring a Swarovski facet embroidery, plus matching bag; as well as a spike-studded plaid tote and a red leather beret studded with Swarovski crystals. Creations worn by pop icons Madonna, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears were found in the archive section. Then, for the hardcore fashion groupies among us, there was a real treat: items designed for Zoolander, no less!