Marc Jacobs

There were two welcoming aspects to the Marc Jacobs show last night. One, the show actually began shortly after 9 pm, and two, the collection, which celebrated showmanship, fashion and women in a season where many have been ambivalent towards creativity. This season the silhouette came simply enough from modest blouses, wide belts and below-the-knee prairie skirts or super wide-leg cropped trousers, but to that Jacobs added a powerful mix of patterns and fabrics—washed, appliquéd, embroidered and twisted—and color. Why not pair an unglamorous, workwear-looking check with lamé? The net effect—Midwestern ranch wives meets power ladies meets Saint Laurent’s Ballets Russes—was so exquisitely textured in its Old-New World sensibility it was hard not to fall for Jacobs’s new chic.

Thom Browne

Arguably the most important feature of Thom Browne’s presentation was the element of play. Browne was inspired by tennis this season, so there were umpire blazers, warm-up jackets and tennis racquet prints on virtually everything. More to the point were the proportions people have come to know the designer for. Browne’s trademark proposition of cropping pant lengths was reversed this season, with pants sitting way below the backside. The basic two-piece men’s suit was also shown as a onesie. And what of the skorts? Could Browne have been on to something? (Uncannily enough, Marc Jacobs took his bow last night at his own show wearing one.) There is little doubt that Browne’s tweedle-dee-like overalls will be a hit anywhere, but you could sense he had a winner in his paisley printed blazers and cardigans and topper-length oversized blousons.