Yesterday, Marc Jacobs presented his Spring 2017 collection, and as we've come to expect season after season, the beauty look was off the rails. François Nars handled makeup, with a pastel array of Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadows. And then there was Guido Palau on hair. Those rainbow, woolen dreadlocks. Here's how Guido explained them backstage:
"[Marc] was really inspired by director Lana Wachowski’s hair, which we used in the Spring 2016 campaign. She’s got this beautiful raw hair in her extensions. We also looked at different movements like rave culture, club kids, acid house, travelers, Boy George, Marilyn, and all sorts of things. He also really liked the idea of the volume in the hair—that’s where it all came from.
Once we had the idea, we needed to figure out where the hair would come from. We found Jena on Etsy and she was down in Florida making dyed wool hair. We contacted her and she probably realized the amount of hair was needed when Marc was like ‘I want to see it in that shade, and that shade, and that shade, does it come in this shade? Can you do it in an antique green?’ Overall, we used about 12,500 yards of yarn. It was so overwhelming when I went in and saw the extent of her work—it’s all handmade. I mean, it was just racks of it. All just hanging in different colors. It was a very impressive visual.
But that's what's so interesting about Marc—he takes something that is so street and raw and then he looks at the idea of proportion, the idea of the color, the kind of girl... What’s fun for me is finding something that is fun to look at with the clothes. In this case, [the models] become very, very tall and almost gives me like an anime, Harajuku look. It almost looks like they’ve stepped out of a computer."
So clearly there's an elephant in the room here. Featuring fabricated dreadlocks that were inspired by a white woman [Lana] and then produced by a white woman [Jena] feels like an issue. Marc's defensiveness on the matter isn't helping things along either. The intentions could very well be pure, but the execution and explanation feel problematic, shortsighted, and offensive to many.
There's a lot to unpack here—too much to go ignored or summarized. So, we at ITG are curious to hear your thoughts. What's your take on it? Let's dissect.