NEW YORK — Marc Jacobs, mission accomplished.
Jacobs is heralded as New York Fashion Week's bellwether designer, and Monday night he reminded style-watchers why: He had the biggest celebrity in his front row – Madonna; he had highly photogenic Kewpie-doll models – unlike anything else this round of fashion previews; and he had very feminine clothes – which is probably where other designers will be two seasons from now.
His spring collection had lots of frou-frou ruffles and pearl embellishment, yet his muse still seemed to be a strong woman with an obvious edge. Think of his customer as the cool, creative type who can find the best thing in a vintage store, or buy a Jacobs' blush-colored ruffled jersey dress that mimics it.
Some of his looks went much farther than that – balloon genie pants and pleated bloomers come to mind – but hopefully those are more for magazine editorial spreads than the real world.
For store racks, he offered pointelle sweaters in gray and burgundy, and wearable jackets that had a hint of military influence. The idea is to wear a full skirt or skinny pants underneath.
"He is so incredibly influential with so many people," said stylist Rachel Zoe as she walked into the Armory building that has hosted Jacobs' show for years.
Some of Jacobs' suits, with a stream of ruffles down the jacket that was continued on the skirt or trousers, could be the wave of the future. (No need to try the bras and corsets he styled on top of that officewear.)
Plus, there are his always-popular shoes, this time a clunky, chunky futuristic sandal that didn't have a high heel. This was Jacobs bucking another emerging trend from the other runways as Fashion Week finishes up its fifth day.
Either the shoe or the very narrow pencil skirts that hit the mid-calf caused the models to walk in tiny, robotic rapid-fire steps.
Madonna, whose hair was in a Brigitte Bardot style, took her seat just before the first model stepped out. She wore a black leather jacket and a black lace miniskirt.