Marc Jacobs’s Energising AW20 Show: Dance Theory

If anyone is inclined towards theatricality, it’s Marc Jacobs – and if any fashion week needs an injection of that energy, it’s New York.

This season, he invited choreographer Karole Armitage – known as the “punk ballerina,” she was responsible for Madonna’s Vogue dance moves – to create a frenetic scene within which to present his autumn/winter 2020 collection.

Under her direction, over 50 dancers dressed in knitted neutrals and pastels bounded across his stage, “celebrating chaos and form by conjuring the outermost expressions of our innermost feeling” – namely, running and leaping across it as models tried to navigate their way past them, before making their way into the audience, where they danced between the bistro tables and chairs where the audience was seated. It was Vogue-ing meets modern ballet: gestural and frantic and fiercely exciting.

Dancers regularly feature at fashion shows – they are an easy win for Instagram, and can often enliven even the most banal offering – but rarely is it a particularly good idea.

This time it was: “Karole’s choreography brings the cultural influences of today into conversation with a past New York I will forever love,” explained Marc in his show notes. So, it made for both electric intensity and perfect sense.

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