Fashion vs. Performance: Chanel and Marc Jacobs’ Collections Take the Stage

With fashion month a little bit behind us, there are a few shows that I keep thinking back to: Chanel in Paris and Marc Jacobs in New York. But I wasn’t obsessed with them for the reason you might think. Yes, my jaw dropped at the over 100 looks presented by Chanel and, yes, Marc Jacobs’ sexy grungy goodness was delectable.

But I was too busy obsessing over the set!

Marc Jacobs 2015 NYFW

Chanel PFW 1

The theater person in me could not stop geeking out about how closely these shows are mimicking performance and how the creation of these elaborate sets are only pushing the medium further into the theatrical realm. And to a certain extent I feel like that is to be expected; it is a presentation after all and intended to be watched. But these shows are taking presentation to a new level and, personally, I love it. It makes the models into characters and highlights the woman these clothes were designed for. It brings me into the world of the designers, which enriches the way I see the clothing.

I know that not everyone agrees, though. This great article in the New York Times from a few weeks back takes the opposing view, which I also feel is completely valid: the clothes shouldn’t be overshadowed by the theatrics. This is fashion week after all.

No matter what your opinion, the artistry and attention to detail in each of the shows is unreal and I am definitely feeling some inspiration for my theater thesis going on right now.

Other brilliantly theatrical shows include more Chanel, Philipp Plein, and Alice + Olivia.

[Photos from NYT Magazine and Vogue.]

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