Marc Jacobs’ Tribute To ‘HERO’ Vivienne Westwood

Here’s what went down at the designer’s intimate off-schedule Spring 2023 RTW outing as he returned to the Park Avenue Armory.

Courtesy of Marc Jacobs

Where fashion season used to be confined to a few months of the year, increasingly designers are looking to fill the cracks and bleed out into the spaces between these ‘big’ shows – these quiet moments allowing them to shine away without the competition of 10 or 15 other fashion extravaganzas per day. Marc Jacobs caught this trend of off-schedule action to unveil his latest Spring 2023 Ready-To-Wear collection, which was the return of the Maison to physical shows for the first time since their announcement of only digital runway shows in 2020 due to COVID-19.

Jacobs is a master of showmanship, which prevailed again, down to the tiny details. The venue’s setup consisted of a single row of chairs for showgoers, with a strobe of light defining the dark room’s runway; a pink-haired Jennifer Koh playing a violin solo of “Einstein on the Beach: Knee Play 2” by Philip Glass, and a unisex/gender-fluid cast of models donning his latest constructions.

At the same time, the entitled “Heroes,” collection paid homage to the late British designer and godmother of punk designer Vivienne Westwood. She passed away in December 2022 at 81, and when she died Jacobs posted a black-and-white photo of the legendary designer as a young woman, with the words: “I continue to learn from your words and all your extraordinary creations.” At the end of the show, he mentioned Westwood’s quote, “Fashion is life-enhancing, and I think it’s a lovely, generous thing to do for other people.”. The worldwide known as the “Queen of Punk” designer had a great influence on Jacobs in the ‘90s and became a closer friend to the Maison. Creative designer Marc Jacobs got inspired by her punk style, recreated the designer’s looks and added them to his collection. Marc wanted to honour “all of our heroes past, and young heroes present,”.

Backstage – Marc Jacobs Spring 2023

Marc Jacobs unveiled his runway show, showing off 45 looks, where models strode down a pitch-black runway to a live soundtrack of American solo violinist Jennifer Koh with spotlights highlighting the garments. Dissonant notes of Philip Glass’s “Knee Play 2” from his opera “Einstein on the Beach” was played during the runway show.

On the runway, we could see models wearing high-heeled platform shoes, peroxide wigs, Kiki platform shoes, punk verses, and more. There were also body-hugging garments bleached off or using denim, canvas, faux fur, patchwork, and crushed velvet, all reminiscent of the old punk movement.

Details – Marc Jacobs Spring 2023

For this spring 2023 collection, Jacobs offered interesting, expressive, dramatic and creative silhouettes in volume and structure, of course, with punk elements. He also looked back at his own creations from early in his career: spiky and dyed hairstyles. There were oversized outerwear shapes and draped gowns while textural patchwork and crushed velvet emphasised the punk aesthetic.  Long quilted coats, down jackets worn with skirts and knitwear, and wrinkled evening gowns perfectly portrayed Jacobs and Westwood aesthetic.

“With the turn of another season in our endless search for value, importance, and possibilities, it is through these collections that we continue our ever-expanding notions of beauty and craft,” Jacobs said. “With a controlled abandon and driving frenetic energy, we reflect on life beyond the studio.” 

Front-row – Marc Jacobs

Guests, including SOFIA Coppola, Ashley Graham, Nicky Hilton and Emily Ratajkowski, plus icons Debbie Harry, Debi Mazar and Anna Sui, sat on folding chairs in a spare and barely lit space.

The Marc Jacobs Spring 2023 collection was a true homage to the late British designer. We could perfectly see her elegance and timeless style portrayed in the collection. Her contributions to the fashion industry and deep influence will always be remembered. Moreover, alongside this tribute from Marc Jacobs, there will be plenty of Britain’s young designers who acknowledge her contribution to the industry.

Check out some of the looks from Marc Jacobs Spring 2023 RTW collection.

Courtesy of Marc Jacobs
Courtesy of Marc Jacobs
Courtesy of Marc Jacobs