Fashion Week 2007. The Bored and The Beautiful: Cathy Horyn’s Marc Jacobs. Second City Style Fashion Blog

February 7, 2007 • New York Fashion Week Fall '07


So here it comes: what seems to be my weekly digression inspired by Cathy Horyn. What can I say, the lady gets it right almost all the time. But this is THE week when I was looking for someone with that NYT or IHT byline to get it right. And she did.

What I perhaps naively interpreted as a kind of pervasive boredom among many designers this time around was aptly and accurately described by Horyn as purposive "boredom."

In her article, "Beautiful and a Little Bored," Horyn first unpacks the method behind Marc Jacobs’ madness. In reference to the presentation of his collection she says, " Mr. Jacobs’s solution is to create relatively simple sets (by Stefan Beckman) that are beautifully lighted (by Jan Kroeze) and which allow him to make clear visual connections with the clothes. It’s as though he is looking at his shows through a cinematographer’s lens — carefully composing a scene with shapes and colors, relating the graphic pattern of a classical floor to the graphic impact of a new, more restrained silhouette."

Any comparison between a designer and a filmmaker is, of course, fraught with all kinds of landmines. But at the end of the day she’s right. It’s his ability to understand the inter-relation between ALL the forms, shapes, light and sounds that allowed him to show a great collection— not to mention that he’s someone who understands the difference between how a dress looks on film and how it looks from the front row.

But I digress. The best thing about Jacobs is that he defies the expectation that follows from the label "cinematic." Jacobs’ cinema (both in inspiration and end result) isn’t a "blockbuster" or an "extraveganza" of any kind. Instead, Horyn goes on to detail how Jacob’s restraint and boredom was "inspired by “The Conformist,” the Bertolucci movie…. Fassbinder films and Resnais’s “Last Year at Marienbad”…. [as well as the] dark and minimalist [music of]: Henryk Gorecki’s Third Symphony. These films are not only beautiful in their restraint but somehow manage to capture the beauty of the fall or, more precisely, the dark side of decadance — one is not victim to tragedy but boredom.

Horyn continues, "Aside from an obvious whittling down of his silhouette to a style that evokes both the ’30s and the ’70s, Mr. Jacobs’s sleek fall clothes suggest boredom — with fashion and with the same old thrills. The plainly elegant clothes, not far from what you can imagine in Paris Vogue of the ’70s, with neat, broad-brim hats and chic, unforced proportions, may represent a pause for Mr. Jacobs rather than a new direction."

Nevertheless, she notes "the clothes were very wearable and appealing, especially the tailored coats with sharp collars and sash belts, the many plain sweaters worn with slender belts and knee-length skirts, and a navy cashmere tunic with cropped gray pants. Supposedly, the tunic was last season’s trend, from Yves Saint Laurent. But it looks right here, perhaps because everything in the collection feels unhurried, beautiful and a little bored."

Absolutley lovely.

For the full story go to

–Joanne Molina for Second City Style

Photo: Rahav Segev for The New York Times

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