Marc Jacobs, like so many designers this NYFW, went back to the ‘80s in a very real way for his Fall 2018 collection. Think cartoonishly huge shoulder pads, exaggerated coats, and LOTS of taffeta.

The New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman described the mood as a requiem in a Cover Girl palette, with clothes that swallowed instead of enhanced — which might not be an entirely bad thing depending on your perspective. The show was an interesting approach to take, considering that Marc Jacobs the label has been struggling the past few years, announcing the closure of European outposts in January and shuttering its Marc by Marc Jacobs line.

The clothes were a reflection of the era Marc Jacobs launched in, the mid-‘80s when his designs challenged the over-the-top decadence of the era. Now, it’s hard to tell exactly what place Jacobs occupies in fashion. The silhouettes that Jacobs gave us were over the top, and it felt like the designer was reflecting and pulling from his legacy.

Jacobs using this show to pull out all the stops could be because of his recent hire, Baja East’s co-founder John Targon, who now heads up the lower-priced side of Marc Jacobs. Now he’s able to play around more, to create a fantastical ideal of a woman in a smoking suit — but not the Yves St. Laurent tailored kind, more the three-kids-stacked-in-a-suit kind. It was fun, a little bit silly, and also an indication (and this isn’t entirely bad or good) that fashion is in a weird place right now.

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