A year ago, Marc Jacobs announced that it (he?) was eliminating the company’s diffusion line — Marc by Marc Jacobs — and would only produce clothes under the original Marc Jacobs label. This seemed like bad news to me because I really liked the cute clothes made under his youthful, cheaper (though not cheap) line.
Fast-forward to today and I am confused. The Marc Jacobs label is a bit of a hodge-podge, a mix of less expensive pieces for younger women and very expensive garments for the Woman of Means.
In other words, all bets are off. A visit to marcjacobs.com might yield a fun jacket, a worky dress, or a novelty bag. All at once.
And on one magical night in January, it yielded this elegant, intelligent, whimsical dress.
This dress, full-price, cost a fortune, but I found it marked down 75% at Neiman Marcus in a post-holiday sale. Note: Sale items from marcjacobs.com are often (if not always) final sale. I don’t know if I have ever seen the words “final sale” on the Neiman Marcus website.
Take a moment to look at these photos. Are you seeing the whimsy?
Let’s count it off.
One, the fabric is trompe l’oeil — printed to look like lace.
Two, the visual trick doesn’t stop with the pattern. Different elements of the dress are also printed; lacing up the center of the bodice and buttons at the cuffs.
Three, the printing stops short of the seams and edges, leaving white space. Yes, the dress looks like pattern pieces were cut and then attached to the dressmaker’s toile for rough assembly.
Correctly or incorrectly, I decided that this lace dress would look best if it were toughened up with a belt and boots.
Note a comic element here: trompe l’oeil buttons on the printed cuff, and a real button adorning the actual cuff.
I did have the dress taken in a little.
Do you see the black stripe running down the side? As designed, this stripe widened from the waist to the hem, almost like a gore. Because this fabric is very slippery and soft, it couldn’t hold the a-line shape and the resulting silhouette was a little dumpy. So I asked Fatima to take in the side seams and create a straight panel of black from the armscye to the hem.
For those wondering if the dress would look better with a pair of lo-bloc heels, I thought to take photos.
Have a fantastic weekend!
Dress: Marc Jacobs; Boots: Donna Piu; Belt: Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti; Lo-bloc heels: Tory Burch; Bag: Coach Gramercy Satchel