Fashion is often accused of borrowing from other subcultures and rarely citing the source — especially when it comes to high fashion's embrace of street wear. So, Marc Jacobs rightfully earned a social media feed full of praise today when he dedicated his fun aw17 show to the origin of the trend: hip hop.
In a statement, he said inspiration struck him after watching the four-part documentary, Hip-Hop Evolution. But rather than exploring the hoodies and logos of the late Eighties and Nineties, the period heavily mined by the likes of Vetements, Gosha Rubichinskiy and a slew of others, Marc looked at the dress of rap music's earliest days back in the Seventies (Jacobs is known for repeatedly revisiting the decade), when disco was morphing into b-boy style.
'As a born and bred New Yorker, it was during my time at the High School of Art and Design when I began to see and feel the influence of hip hop on other music as well as art and style,' he said in a statement.
'This collection is my representation of the well-studied dressing up of casual sportswear. 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,' he added.
And while Marc's press notes played up the simplicity of dressing for 'everyday,' these clothes were anything but. There were shaggy, pimptastical coats and hats, extra long and slouchy, bell bottomed corduroy trousers, retro track suits and gold dookie ropes.
This collection is my representation of the well-studied dressing up of casual sportswear.
And somehow, the show's sparse presentation (there was no set and no music, the models simply walked down a makeshift runway between two long rows of seats, in an undecorated Park Avenue Armory) made the clothes look even more loud and proud.
When seated en masse, in front of a giant boombox blasting old school R&B at the end of the show, it looked like Adwoa Aboah, Kendall Jenner, Hanne Gaby Odiele, Alek Wek, Binx Walton and crew were playing dress-up. Some models carried the looks better than others.
And, this was the collection's biggest drawback: it's hard to make street wear look authentic on a supermodel. Adwoa and Hanne Gaby? Sure. Kendall? Not so much.
But once you look beyond the drama of the cocked heads, high hats, extra tall platforms and dramatically long flares, it becomes clear the pieces with everyday potential are there.
Plus, shaggy, big collared outerwear has already proven to be a big hit on the street and the runway this week. This collection just gave the trend an even longer shelf life.