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Disciplined was the key word in describing Marc Jacob’s Autumn/Winter 2011-12 collection. For the next Autumnal season the designer left behind his Spring/Summer 2011 fluid designs inspired by the ‘70s, to look at fitted silhouettes. Rigid and severe lines were created, employing synthetic materials such as Lurex, latex and cellophane, though irony and a playful mood were added by sprinkling such materials with polka dots.

Working with latex designers, House of Harlot, Jacobs came up with tops, dresses and skirts covered in latex scales that looked like sequins, matched with Stephen Jones’ vinyl berets with organza chin straps decorated with spots and buttons. Polka dots were the main theme: they appeared in different sizes and materials, in print and appliquéd on fabric; they spread like a virus on tights, skirts, blouses and pony skin sweaters; they decorated furry bags and leather bi-coloured gloves and their shape was also evoked by the round flaps of the pockets and the curved silhouette of the jackets. Jacobs played a lot with contrasts as well, integrating cellophane jabots in guipure lace dresses with a Victorian cut but a dominatrix edge. The palette – focusing on burgundy, maroon, dark green, blue and black – contrasted with the lightness of some of the materials used. Jacobs reinvented some staples of the American wardrobe, revisiting bomber jackets and pencil skirts, mixing rubber, stiff wool, cashmere, film, felt, double-face crepe, faux and real fur, manipulating fabric adding three-dimensional dots and spots onto cropped jackets, shifts and capes.

The mood was playful and ironic and one thing is for sure, polka dots are here to stay, at least until next Winter.

by Anna Battista

All images courtesy Marc Jacobs

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