I was a fan of Marc Jacobs since I was twelve years old, when I first started experimenting with fashion. He had an over-the-top, and colorful style that I instantly fell in love with. However, his resort collection for 2017 made me disenchanted. The show starred cast of mostly white models walked down the runway with dreadlocks, and when criticized on his decision, Jacobs made regrettable remarks, likening white models wearing dreads to black girls straightening their hair, and telling his critics they’re “narrow minded” for calling out the obvious cultural appropriation. A few weeks later he gave an apology on Instagram, that to me at least, didn’t really seem genuine. It seemed more of an apology for his comments, and for how it made us feel, not for his actions.
A year later, Marc Jacobs is in the news again, speaking on how he’s learned from his mistakes in his use of cultural appropriation. In an article with In Style, Jacobs says “What I learned from that whole thing, what caused me to pause after it died down a little bit, was that maybe I just don’t have the language for this, or maybe I’ve been insensitive because I operate so inside my little bubble of fashion” He apologizes in the article, in a real and genuine way. His Fall 2017 collection is a showcase of what he’s learned from his criticisms.
The collection is heavily inspired by early hip hop fashion Oversized coats, fur accents, and gold jewelry were staples of these looks, in a way that wasn’t a caricature of early Hip Hop figures, and featured a diverse cast of models, using models like Winnie Harlow and Adwoa Aboah. I loved the large peacoats layered over mini dresses, and topped off with felt cloche hats. It’s such a chic look!
I love the tones of tan and brown used in company with splashes of navy or red. The use of wide-leg pants can be a risky one, because many people remember the baggy, floor dragging ones from yesteryear and cringe at the thought. These however, are a sensible boot-cut, and feel extremely current, while harkening back to another time. That is a recurring feeling I get from this collection, that I’ve seen some of these pieces before, but it’s a fresh new take.
The chunky gold chains, and hoop earrings are iconic staples of women’s hip hop fashion, but they aren’t overdone, rather a subtle nod to the accessory.I like this rather than them being obnoxiously big, because I have seen a lot of people use gold bamboo earrings and gold chains to make fun of the hip hop style. By keeping them a small accent or detail, rather than a statement piece, Jacobs dodges that idea. The designer did live through the birth of hip hop, and it shows, throughout the collection. I love it when a designer doesn’t rely on the obvious statements of a style they’re inspired by to carry a collection.
I’m happy to say that I actually believe Marc Jacobs’s apology. This collection showed a genuine understanding of how to appreciate a culture, and pay an homage rather than use it as inspiration and give no credit, where credit is due. Many people were thinking this was Jacobs disregarding his haters, and going above and beyond to cause more controversy. However, Marc Jacobs wanted to make it known that he hears us, and he’s one designer that is listening, rather than dismissing.