There was a universal sense of awe at the Ziegfeld Theater tonight, where Marc Jacobs decided to stage his show after The Armory (where he has held his shows for the past several years) was occupied by Olafur Eliasson’s “Tree of Codes” show. The designer made it feel like the world’s most glamorous premiere. Upon running up to the iconic building — yes, running, Jacobs likes to start on time, and the fear of missing his show put this reporter in a full blown panic — the red carpet had been rolled out and his name appeared in lights on the marquee. The message was clear: it was going to be Jacobs’s biggest gown moment to date.
Once inside, Jacobs’s adorable staff members appeared in sprightly red uniforms, working as ushers and behind the concession counter. The show did not start at 6pm on the dot, so rehydrating with a fountain soda was essential. It was served in a cup that read, “Marc Jacobs: Live Onstage at the Ziegfeld Theater.” There were also matching T-shirts that were being given out as well as Playbill with Marc’s likeness. Needless to say, it was a charming touch.
After commiserating with two other editors — who also ran through Times Square to the venue — the curtain was drawn to reveal a full orchestra (lead by Brian Newman who also headed up the Lady Gaga/Tony Bennett tour), and a movie screen that projected the models stopping down the red carpet outside. By the time Natalie Westling set foot in the building in the first look, the band was strumming the first chords of “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys. Nearly everyone in attendance began bobbing their heads in unison. Who knows if it was the infectious beat or in approval of the clothes? My guess is a little of both. The models walked a rapid tempo, causing all 62 looks to go by in a clip, but not without seeing flashes of brilliance and plenty of Americana.
This was Jacobs’s first season without his lower-priced Marc by Marc diffusion line, so he made sure that the high-low mix was intact. Westling was dressed in a concert band sweater, a tattered crochet skirt, and plaid shorts. There were longer plaid shirts worn with cardigans over glittery gowns. Issa Lish sauntered by in a long printed dress that featured Janet Leigh screaming in that memorable scene in Psycho. Unexpected catwalker Irina Shayk wore a blue cardigan, plaid shirt, and a full skirt that featured a print of a vintage photograph of an audience at the cinema in 3-D glasses. Plaid and gowns together again. Hmm, were we going back to Perry Ellis circa 1993? (I’ll take it if so!)
Speaking of unexpected talent — Shayk wasn’t the only one who surprised us on the runway. There was also Emily Ratajkowski, Caroline Trentini, Stella Maxwell, Bella Hadid, Adriana Lima, Guinevere van Seenus, and a beaming Beth Ditto (lead singer for The Gossip) in a rather revealing white off-the-shoulder gown.
Not ones to miss such an occasion, Jacobs’s clique also represented en mass. Sofia Coppola, Debbie Harry, Bette Midler, Sandra Bernhard, and Winona Ryder, to name a few. (The latter told Yahoo Style that one of her fondest memories at the Ziegfeld was when she was 15 and attended the premiere of her film, Great Balls of Fire! about Jerry Lee Lewis, wearing a Giorgio di Sant’ Angelo dress that she had bought for the occasion.)
When it was all said and done, Jacobs was in an extremely joyous mood. He was due to hang backstage for a limited number of interviews, but instead stood near the stage talking to anyone and everyone. He was particularly pleased to meet his electronic pen pal Lana Wachowski for the first time, telling her, “I love the pink,” referring to her dreadlocks. In turn, the director complimented the designer for his “prismatic imagination and incredible range of style.”
At the end of a long week of shows, it didn’t get much better than this.