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  • Written by Moe Wang


Marc Jacobs 40th anniversary show
©Marc Jacobs

This year marks Marc Jacobs’ 40th anniversary. Thus the recent Spring 2024 ready-to-wear anniversary show which took place at the cusp of the New York Fashion Week featured many of Jacobs’ signature flairs from dramatic proportions to playful, whimsical touches. Altogether, the show was an uncanny blend of reality and fantasy, real humans and paper dolls, along with naiveness and elegance.  


Paying homage to the artist Robert Therrien, the stage set created a strange world of dioramas and dollhouses where gigantic sculptures of a beige foldable table and chairs were placed in the vast, spacious Park Avenue Armoury.


The collection took the audience back to the 60s with voluminous hairstyles, dramatic makeup, and exaggerated fashion. It presented looks that shared oversized, boxy proportions which came in nostalgic color palettes of lilac purple, bright scarlet, and 2000s pink as well as muted tones of gray and black.

Vividly colored stiff sweatshirts stamped with the iconic two-headed bear logo from the brand heaven by MJ were matched with voluminous brown leather shorts. Velour texture was made into cartoonishly large skirts and shorts, while heavy knitwear embellished in crystalized brooches came in boxy proportions in a pop of playful color variations.

An oversized fifties-era gray pencil skirt sprinkled with glitter was paired with a white bodice top that also took on a boxy take. The clothes never quite looked natural on the models and seemed more like resting off the body rather than on.


A little too big, a little too stiff, the enormous silhouettes seemed to be the overarching theme of this time’s Marc Jacobs “Wonder” collection. The theme was further punctuated by the mismatch of little blazers and shrunken hoodies with exaggerated track pants, or even bottomless. The tracksuit was also styled in terry cloth sports shorts as hot pants that appeared detached from the leg rather than hugging it. Accessories like Mary Jane pumps and combat boots were painted in polished black with chunky, sky-high heels and the gigantic Venetia handbags from the early-2000s also further highlighted the exaggerated concept of the collection.


The show’s hair and makeup illustrated the world of dollhouses where models paraded the runway styled in porcelain skin, extra-long faux eyelashes, and massive retro-teased hairstyles that looked like clouds of whipped-up cotton candy.


Unlike most shows where lights go bright to signal the end of the show, Marc Jacobs’ show this time ended with dimming lights and full darkness, only to remind the audience that the playtime fantasy is officially over.


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