After white models wore pastel faux dreadlocks at Marc Jacobs show last season, we weren’t sure what to expect at the designer’s fall 2017 show on Thursday. But the moment we entered the backstage area at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan, we knew the designer had learned his lesson. Well, sort of.
Inspired by New York City street culture and a documentary on ’90s hip-hop — which some could argue is still appropriation — Jacobs cast more than 30 models of different ethnicities and backgrounds to represent this melting pot of influence.
He paid “respect” in the show notes, which The Cut posted on SnapChat, saying, “It is an acknowledgment and gesture of my respect for the polish and consideration applied to fashion from a generation that will forever be the foundation of youth culture street style.” The recognition is a stark contrast from the lack of props given to African-American culture many believed was missing from previous shows.
Pointing to a wall with black, white, and trans models sporting dark lipstick, animal print accessories á la Mary J. Blige, and exaggeratedly large bucket hats like LL Cool J and Busta Rhymes, Palau noted how their individuality still shone through.
“She owns that look because that’s who she is. The girl with curls … that’s her look. She has no hair, but got major attitude with the lipstick, which you love about her,” he said. “But all together, you’ve got one cool gang of people.”
Lead makeup artist Diane Kendal for Marc Jacobs Beauty attended the fittings, and decided — with Jacobs — the look for each model. “Some girls have mascara with gloss on the lid. Some girls got black eyeliner on the waterline and all around. And some girls we are doing just very fresh skin,” she said.
Kendal amped up the hip-hop element by mixing Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lipstick in Blow 210 and Blacquer 000 with a small brush to create the perfect burgundy-black lip color. The finish was very similar to Blige’s signature dark lip during her What’s the 411? era.
Manicurist Jin Soon Choi gave beauty editors a sneak peek at a brand-spanking-new fall Marc Jacobs Beauty nail polish called Trax — a high-shine lacquer inspired by the designer’s favorite maroon track pants. She and her team painted the deep shade onto square fake nails and adorned them with gold letters that spelled out “Marc Jacobs” across all 10 fingers. The super long mani instantly reminded us of SWV.
Palau said that the Marc Jacobs fall show symbolizes “a new generation of girls.” Reflecting on runways of the past, he said, “I don’t know if we’d ever go back to one, you know, like, an army of girls. Because at one time in the ’90s, there was an army of girls that looked exactly the same … it feels old maybe now to do that.”
When asked whether this season’s show is “inclusive,” Palau let out a resounding, “Yes!” He added, “Hopefully when girls and women and boys look at this show, they can find someone they can relate to.”
We are digging the ’90s vibes and diversity at Marc Jacobs. But only time will tell if this resonates with the rest of the world.
Yahoo Beauty is behind the scenes at #NYFW! Get your backstage pass to the hottest beauty trends from New York Fashion Week.