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An Ode to Marc Jacobs’ Quarantine Style

Finding solace in the power of getting dressed.

By: Camille Freestone

What are you wearing right now? If you’re like the majority of this homebound world—and, of course, if you’re fortunate enough to be able to work from home—we’re guessing your ensemble involves some semblance of comfort clothing, be that sweats, leggings, hoodies, etc. Even those of us who wholeheartedly believe in the mood-boosting power of fashion find ourselves succumbing to the comforting lull of loungewear—myself included.

Scrolling through Instagram gives way to a monotony of tracksuits, coordinating knits, or, if you’re lucky, a throwback post dedicated to a life once lived, an outfit once worn. The sameness of it all is shocking, until you find something that takes your fashion-deprived breath away. For us, that was one of our favorite male fashion designers clad in a teal leather jacket, pearls, and silver platform sandals. The caption read “Put on your Sunday clothes when you feel down and out.”

 

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Since mid-March, Marc Jacobs has continued to wow us with his stylish ensembles that utilize clothing to almost satirize the life we currently lead. We’ve seen him experiment with fishnet hosiery and an old t-shirt, riff on traditional safari garb, and don coordinating floral sets. The finishing touches remain consistent. A pair of high heels is nearly always present alongside a ladies-who-lunch strand of pearls wrapped around his neck—move over, Harry Styles, there’s another gender-bending style aficionado in town.

 

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Unlike so many design counterparts known for their rigid practice of uniform dressing— Michael Kors, Tom Ford, Carolina Herrera, Raf Simons—Jacobs has proved he can style his own ensembles almost as well as he can create a collection. He also refreshingly engages other designers’ pieces in a dialogue with his own, forgoing obstinate brand adherence so popular nowadays. A Prada jacket here, a Celine coat there, a Bottega Veneta puddle boot a few posts later—all combined in a way that makes pieces from his collection seem even more versatile.

 

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“If I had to go out for a walk, I’d put on my fanciest fucking coat, and I’d put on my highest goddamn heels,” Jacobs tells Cathy Horyn for The Cut. While the rest of the world hid behind sweatpants and hoodies, he reminded us what fashion could look like, what we were missing and would hopefully return to. In a nod to the industry’s favorite agenda, he used clothing to question the norms of gender, push the limits of conformity, and stare boredom in the face. He proves that while, yes, fashion is a form of art, you can and should still wear it. In the words our dear friend Nigel would say, “What they did, what they created, was greater than art because you live your life in it.”

 

 

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In an expert sleight of hand, the American designer’s finishing touches trick your eye into seeing a wack-o ensemble, but that’s not exactly the case. Strip away a few supersized accessories and some ostentatious yet utterly fabulous drag makeup, and you have timeless ensembles that could appeal to a diverse array of onlookers, regardless of their gender. Jacobs plays with a lot of classic pieces—button-downs, tapered black trousers, simple sweaters—but it’s how he puts them together that’s so interesting.

 

 

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This so-called return to normalcy we anxiously anticipate has given way to conversation about our newfound respect for comfort. How will we merge comfort with our day-to-day wardrobes? Jacobs’ posts examine the time we spend stressing over these distinctions when we could have been getting dressed and relishing in fashion all along (with the addition of a mask, of course). When we reduce ourselves to comfort, we limit our options by default—though Jacobs does sneak some loungewear in occasionally. If you are open to wearing anything, you can literally wear everything.

 

 

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Though the posts have slowed down a bit since the peak of quarantine, I find myself skipping back to his account when I’m in need of a joyful reprieve. “I don’t want to see people conforming. I want to see people spreading their wings. And that’s what I keep trying to say with these posts,” says Jacobs. “I’m spreading my wings. I’m painting my eyes, I’m putting on my heels, and I’m saying, ‘You know what? This is the world the way I see it, and I’m going to live in this world, and I’m going to go out with a mask on.’”

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