INSPIRATION: Jacobs always takes threads of inspiration from various sources and deftly weaves them together into a single collection. This season, it seemed to be a secretarial Barbarella (lots of paillette pencil skirts) by way of a '40s silhouette (sculpted peplum tops) with a splash of Prada (guipure-lace dresses circa 2008) and a sprig of Balenciaga (padded jackets with structured tubular sleeves) thrown in for good measure.
WHO WAS THERE: Sofia Coppola, Vanessa Hudgens, Karen Elson, Whoopi Goldberg (dressed like Ben Franklin according to Elle's Joe Zee!), Fergie and husband Josh Duhamel, Leighton Meester
TOP LOOKS: Organza ruffle top with fake-crocodile skirt; corseted sweater with rubber trousers; polka-dot ensembles including matching tops and bottoms
ACCESSORIES: Patent-leather and rubberized-leather wedge-heel snow boots, brogues, pointed black berets with cashmere chin straps by Stephen Jones, polka-dot nylons, polka-dot gloves, suede gym bags, square purses
WHAT WE THOUGHT: On Valentine's Day evening, the fashion glitterati walked into the New York State Armory to the glow of soft red lighting shining down on large quilted-vinyl columns atop a mirrored floor. Soothing lounge music played in the background and each seat featured show notes housed in a red velvet folder. Were we about to be seduced by Mr. Jacobs? It seemed entirely feasible, especially considering the plethora of romantic gowns we've seen so far this season.
But as is often the case, Jacobs had his own plans. At two minutes before the appointed start time, and seemingly with a flick of a switch, the lighting morphed from moody red to stark white, the soft elevator music was replaced by industrial heavy metal, and the first model stomped out wearing not an enchantingly frilly frock, but rather a polyester shirt (credited as being "backward") and rubber pants. Hello, Dolly!
From there, the influx of influences came fast and furious. A pink rubber sheath dress made to seem as though it were composed of sequins (but in reality looked like scales) was very Paco Rabanne. The Spanish-born designer would probably have appreciated Jacobs' use of paillettes, an oft-used material in his repertoire, which was translated as tight pencil skirts that stopped just below the knee. In fact, aside from the use of rubber -- which was prominent -- Jacobs also used less formal fabrics such as polyester, stretched velour and terrycloth. The flipside came in the form of expensive guipure-lace and wool crepe dresses.
It was Jacobs' usual mishmash, but that's why we love him. Especially on Valentine's Day.