I got to pre shop the fabulously geeky MBMJ Resort 2015 collection
Upon exiting the elevator onto the party floor last November, I felt as though I had all but left SoHo behind and had stepped onto the deck of Starship Marc. My name was checked off a list, my coat was taken, and I was promptly handed a can of champagne (you gotta ration that stuff in space, you know?). I’d traded in the chilly Manhattan air for a warm welcome into a chic gathering orbiting in the thermosphere above our little city.
I’d even arrived fashionably late to the proceedings because I goofed and got myself lost. You see originally, I thought the party was being held at one of their stores. Silly me, it wasn’t at any store (glad I checked all of them first), they’d invited me to Marc Jacobs International HQ, which is actually 2 blocks from my job. Ah well. I “pregamed” for the event by taking myself on a tour of all the shops; and I’m actually kinda glad I did. They’re all very close together. Imagine if you will, the Big Dipper. Each store is a star in a constellation. You can go from star to beautiful shining star in minutes. Anyway, I digress…. where was I? SPACE!
When Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier took up the helm at Marc by Marc Jacobs, their newly rebranded fall debut (the line is now MBMJ) was all about “Girl Power”. It was Alice meets Akira. It was everything. This time the theme continues with a focus on some very specific girls. Your immediate thought, like mine, is Zooey Deschanel in Hitchhikers Guide. And while there are very obvious references — the standout handbag is a checkered tote with the book/ film’s most referential phrase “Don’t Panic” boldly emblazoned across it– the majority of the inspiration really comes from a special “Girl Power” group you may not be familiar with: Mercury 13. A group of 13 female pilots who were trained to become astronauts. Sadly 60s NASA wasn’t keen on having ladies in space, so they never went. “They were competent women who were put back into the kitchen,” as Bartley put it. Hence the collection features beautiful 50s style fit and flare dresses. Femininity with a real twist in the form of thick straps, overlarge pockets… references to bondage and parachuting. And maybe, coincidentally or (for the sake of indulging a geeky fantasy), totally on purpose… a nod to Marvin.
And then of course there were the prints . Retro florals and galaxies collided. Rose and star motifs made their way onto the jewelry too. And those utilitarian looking pants wouldn’t look out of place at a space station near you.
After I’d had my fill of Champagne , tuna tar-tar, chocolate bon bons, lemon squares, trying out all the things and Instagramming while tipsy, the night culminated in the distribution of swag bags! Glorious, fancy swag featuring a print by artist Zoë Taylor as seen on the collection’s shirts. We also got custom MBMJ galaxy print nail decals and an out of this world starry, starry MBMJ key chain. No, swag is the wrong word here. More like rare, special gifts from my travels. Keepsakes from that time I spent a lovely evening in space.