Here are some laws of physics, nature, what have you: "every action has an equal and opposite reaction," "every expansion yields a contraction." These axioms came to mind when I saw Marc Jacobs's collection for Fall 2009. Jacobs is the kind of designer that runs when others walk, that goes up when others are down, and who feigns the "eff-its" when everyone else is holding on tight. Sometimes, like last season, his non-conformist tendencies make him a hero of mold-breaking, and give him the bright, hotspot among the same-same shows that roll out one after another.
When done right, his sense of adventure, his bucking of the trend actually creates the trend, and plays with ideas to make something new. But, sometimes he reverts to simple rebellion. His latest collection seems an obvious Jacobsism: go for more when everyone is talking about less. Yes, it grabs attention and keeps his brand in the spotlight, creating ample PR opportunities, and an abundance of links to stories on the recession. But, I just have to ask, does the world really need another version of the '80s prom dress? I agree that the idea of this economic downturn is tiresome, but I'd prefer a protest with new ways of thinking, looking, acting, feeling. Opening the attic doors of the '80s and it's maximalism with maybe a tad more shine and a twist of the '60s is not brilliant, it's done. It's true, I have incredibly high standards for Mr. Jacobs, but this collection is what Ms. Job, my quirky-yet-wise 9th grade English teacher, would have called an "I GO," or in layman's terms: an Instant Grasp of the Obvious. Even though Ms. Job had very questionable taste in ensembles (where do teachers get that gear?), I think she would agree with this assessment. Here are some images of the '80s rehash: