In 2013 Hedi Slimane sent his Autumn / Winter collection for Saint Laurent down the catwalk in Paris, 20 years after the, much derived at the time, infamous Marc Jacobs grunge collection for Perry Ellis. Slimane’s collection was seen as almost a direct copy of the grunge collection from Spring / Summer 93, with many publications flaunting the side by side catwalk shots of the 2 collections. Of course, at the time, critics were very quick to dismiss the Marc Jacobs collection, with scathing reviews by the likes of Cathy Horyn and Suzy Menkes. With the Saint Laurent collection years later, critics were also not as kind to Slimane. Despite this, the Perry Ellis collection has been hailed as a very important in the fashion industry and even more important in the career of Marc Jacobs.
Fast forward to this year and Marc Jacobs has revealed he will be reissuing many pieces from the collection for his 2019 resort collection. This is not an inspirational collection, these are actual pieces, remade in as close to the original fabrics as he can, this time under his own name sake rather than Perry Ellis.
The collection was very important for Jacobs, very much going against the grain of what was happening on the catwalks at the time, as well as being quite far removed from the Perry Ellis muse. It was a massive risk for him to take, and one which, if it wasn’t for the Grace Coddington styled ‘Grunge & Glory’ Vogue editorial, may have meant we may not have got to know the iconic designer at all. The collection over the years was eventually seen as one of the most iconic of its day, eventually copied on the catwalks of many of his peers as well as years later at Saint Laurent.
So why is the collection, seen as a very progressive and forward thinking collection being brought back? After exiting his role at Louis Vuitton in 2013 Marc’s career has struggled with trying to focus attention on his own name sake brand. Already folding his Marc x Marc Jacobs brand into his main collection, the Marc Jacobs brand has become confusing, his collections and his brand just do not feel relevant today. For the first time since the infamous collection Marc is at a wavering crossroads and bringing back the collection will not just be a reminder of his undeniable legacy but will also help him to refocus on the future, with a reminder that he can, and is, a risk taker. “The ‘grunge’ collection epitomised the first time in my professional career I was unwavering in my determination to see my vision come to life on the runway, without creative compromise.” he said in a press release. He had consulted people closest to him, alongside Sarah Andelman, a co-owner of influential retailer Colette, in Paris, for there ideas. The result was to release the capsule grunge collection. “This is not an aggressive sales thing,” Jacobs said. “It’s not like we’re going to redo this collection at one-16th of the price and put it in every store all over the world, we chose a few retailers” — Saks Fifth Avenue and Dover Street Market, among others — “and we won’t show it in the usual way.”
A total of 26 pieces have been replicated. The original patterns have been lost so the team had to piece together the collection from old photographs and film of the catwalk shows – some of the original fabrics had been taken from frith stores in New York – and permission was granted from the Perry Ellis brand to recreate the looks.
Marc’s original collection was all about the energy of the moment and doing a redux collection might seem to be going against the grain of what the collection became to represent for Marc Jacobs and his work he continued with Louis Vuitton, turning Vuitton into one of the most sort after street labels of the noughties. But it also shows that Marc is not willing to sit back and rest on his name sake – he wants to move forward and is using this collection to rest his own creativity, do something new within the fashion world, and then be able to go on to again be a force to be reckoned with and produce collections with an entirely new vision.
The collection is available now with an ad campaign set to follow shot by Juergen Teller.
The collection can be seen here on the Marc Jacobs website