Is it a cape, a serape, a shawl?
It's super-flag--a cashmere cover-up for pianos or people, created by Marc Jacobs, the year's most talked-about designer.
Jacobs, only 25 and already a veteran of the fashion wars, had his own label until a few months back when he was tapped by Perry Ellis Inc. to fill the late designer's preppy shoes.
The ponytailed prodigy--whose last collection featured screaming sequined beach towels and a 1950's Miami Beach theme--will now have to create the kind of low-key, high-profile clothes that made Perry Ellis a household name.
How he does it, if he does it, will be revealed April 10 when the first Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis collection is shown to buyers and press during fall market week.
"I'm scared," Jacobs admitted Wednesday from his New York office. To help relax himself, he said, his shoes were off and he was about to eat a pizza.
About the shades-of-gray shawl from his upcoming collection: "It's not a shawl but a real blanket, the size of a whole double bed" he explained. "It's made by Claridge of Scotland, who do all the blankets for Hermes and Louis Vuitton."
Jacobs hopes people will use the fringed blanket decoratively, on furniture, and will love it so much that they'll also want to "wrap themselves in it on really cold days."
Please see NEW YORK, Page 14 Those looking for something more conventional to wear next fall will find that too, he says. "I've designed a bit of everything: long and short skirts, wide and narrow pants."
The look he likes most, however, is the "slim, neat look of very narrow pants"--in cavalry twill, suede, even matte sequins, all teamed with voluminous tops.
New York's other Wunderkind, Isaac Mizrahi, reportedly wouldn't even consider taking the job at Perry Ellis
because he wanted to retain his own company name and label.
At 27, this will be Mizrahi's seventh season in business and his fourth major
fashion show. "There are no designer clothes in my new collection--by that I mean it's just real American sportswear of thepurest kind. It's all about options and priorities," he says.
The wool jersey "nose-warmer" tunic, shown here with pants,
represents one of the many options to Mizrahi. The tunic can be worn separately as a dress."The nose-warmer looks wonderful when it's worn down--a sort of cowl neckline. I have lots of pants for fall, in both slim and sack styles. And loads of jumpsuits," he says.
Pants may be very popular at the New York showings that start next week, judging from these exclusive, advance photos. Calvin Klein will offer slim versions topped by classic, double-breasted jackets and uncharacteristically prim, tie-neck blouses.
Louis dell'Olio, for Anne Klein, likes a bit more width at the bottom. His swaggery trousers are teamed with a matching, one-button jacket.
Donna Karan's pants-shape looks almost bell-bottom, with a drapey jacket that closes at the waist.
Geoffrey Beene, Manhattan's resident fashion poet, has an explanation for the rear-window emphasis on his "Metamorphosis" dresses with elided backs, such as the one shown here.
" . . . the cutout back, shaped like a pincer, terminates in two sharp prongs shooting over the left and right hip joints. These paired slivers act like arrows pointing to new divisions of the female anatomy."
We never told you fashion was simple.