Marc Jacobs has free speech on the brain -- and in the DJ booth -- which explains his choice of music at his Marc by Marc Jacobs show on Tuesday at Pier 57, along the Hudson River. His models marched to the strains of “WWPRD,” (short for “What Would Pussy Riot Do?”), a just-released anthem from Jeffrey Lewis, who recites the lyrics, “What is this -- the Middle Ages? Let those women out of those cages!”
Here’s the scoop: The women in question are Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, both Russian, in their 20s and members of the anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot. Members of the group staged a protest last year at a prominent Russian church. Alas, Nadia and Masha (as they are known) were caught and convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and sentenced to 2 years in prison. (They’re now reportedly in some harsh former gulag outposts in Siberia -- seriously!)
Leave it to Jacobs to play a song that takes pop culture icons to task for collaborating with corporations -- “[bands that] try to sell you sneakers”-- as he tries to sell … well, pricey clothes and sneakers. But that’s the beauty of Jacobs -- his shows are more theater than runway show, and while he tries to promote sales, sure, he tries to provoke thought, too.
The collection here was informal, with a loose silhouette and a shine factor dialed high. Pastel satin suits, metallic watermelon (that’s pink and green) jackets and skirts, a sequin dress and jumpsuit all had varying intensities of sheen. Even the shoes -- metallic snakeskin sneakers, either high-top or low -- sparkled in the light and caught the eye.
Speaking of catching the eye, what’s with the model near the end who more stalked than walked the runway? The female models veered to the grunge, their hair looking unwashed and plastered down straight. But this one woman had a brooding, psycho-middle-sister type expression on her face.
Then again, maybe it’s brilliant casting. That’s just the kind of offbeat customer Jacobs probably likes. Jans tend to be more interesting than Marcias. And more likely fans of Pussy Riot.