Marc Jacobs’ NYC Dolls

A few days ahead of the new fashion month, Marc Jacobs celebrated his 40th anniversary in New York with a powerful fashion statement for Spring-Summer 2024, featuring naïve and elegant paper doll clothes and wrong proportions. A moment of pure fashion magic.

Marc Jacobs has always been a true New Yorker: over the last 40 years the darling of American high fashion has never cheated on his favorite city with another fashion capital. Thus, his collections always give a mood to the season and take a special place in the hearts of NY fashionistas. This time, for his Spring-Summer 2024, marking his brand’s 40th anniversary (Marc showed for the first time in 1984), which he presented just a few days ahead of the NYFW in the Park Avenue Armory, Jacobs decided to play with exaggerated, almost cartoonish proportions. His models were surrounded by giant beige folding chairs and tables, courtesy of American artist Robert Therrien, so that we could have an impression that those were dolls instead of real-sized women.

Just like the flat cut-out paper dolls many of us played with in our childhood, Jacobs’s Barbies were wearing shoes too big for their feet, sweaters a bit too chunky and skirts larger than their hips. These wrong proportions and fixed, rigid, almost without life models’ postures made the collection look both naïve and fun. Proving that fashion doesn’t always have to be serious.

What does a doll need for her everyday life? A tailored skirt suit for work. A checked dress for a family gathering. A bathing suit for a casual swim in the pool (a jaw-dropping trompe l’oeil top was one of the stunners of the collection). A “Juicy-Couture-style” velour tracksuit for a mundane session in her sports club. A mirror ball gown to shine on the dance floor. And, of course, a bag larger than life to fit all of her necessities.

Other highlights included awkward pea coats with extra-large buttons, toy-like boxy leather shorts and golden jacquard dresses, embellished with multi-coloured gemstones. Bref, everything you dreamed of dressing your favourite Barbie in (and, most probably, yourself too when you get old enough to spend your pocket money on clothes).   

What about the dolls’ hair style? Shout out to Duffy, who mesmerized fashion aficionados just a few days before with victorian up-dos at Maison Margiela Artisanal show in Paris. This time, the hairdresser created fabulous retro-inspired blow dries that looked a bit like cotton candy. Backstage, Duffy revealed that he used 108 wigs for 47 models to create the 60s-inspired look. Matched with multiple fake eyelashes imagined by the famed British make-up guru Diane Kendel, the result gave a surreal feeling that our beloved childhood dolls have finally come to life.

“Through the unavoidable lens of time, my glass remains full of wonder and reflection,” the sixty-year-old designer wrote in his notes for the show entitled “Wonder”. Meaning, that Marc Jacobs will always be there to create fashion magic. Well, this time the mischief was brilliantly managed. Bravo and happy 40th Anniversary, Marc! 


Images: Marc Jacobs