Marc Jacobs' Graphic Take on the '60s

By Jessica Barbanel September 11, 2012 10:07 AM EDT
  • 14 pictures

Gone were last season's layers of patchwork and paisley. And there was not a big hat to be found.

Instead we found ourselves in the 1960s at The Factory with Edie Sedgwick and Andy Warhol. Think simple silhouettes, choppy 'dos and lots of stripes.

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"Young girls need to learn that sexiness isn't about being naked," Jacobs told reporters backstage after the show. He said the show was boiled down to "a bit of everything that I love - lots of straight lines, T-shirts." 

Straight lines dominated the collection. Besides for simple ruffles at the neck, bodice and the hip, shapes were spare. So was the color palette, which mostly included black, white and beige. 

When the first model, Ruby Jean, walked out in a graphic tee and barely there shorts, she felt like a modern-day Edie. But the collection - though referencing '60s It Girls - was not just for clubbing. There was also workwear - if you can call it that.

Demure suits and skirts exposed flashes of skin around the midriff that could hardly be called a sliver. Three buttons on a suit were unbuttoned with no camisole underneath, revealing large swaths of skin.

By today's standards this shouldn't be shocking. But the silhouettes were so covered-up - so demure - that they felt nothing like the cutouts on other runways. There was that tension so common in the '60s - some women were still prim and others, like Edie, were wearing black leotards, minis and large chandelier earrings.

The pop-art gowns at the end were perhaps the most intriguing. The mixed graphics - squares with lines and checkerboard prints - never felt haphazard or overwhelming. The thigh-high slits helped give the garments movement. And the straight, unfettered silhouettes kept the gowns from swallowing the Edie look-alikes whole.

By 1965, Andy's and Edie's relationship was starting to unravel. Teenagers were wearing higher hems. And the Beatles were everywhere. A change was happening. And that swath of skin under Jacobs' suits symbolized the tension beautifully.

  • 14 pictures

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