Marc Jacobs Offers Edwardian Influences, Oliver Twist, and Jamiroquai All in One

The designer's show remains the most exciting of the week, combining furry hats with brocade dresses.

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A runway look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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Even putting the fashion aside, the Marc Jacobs show is always the most exciting of New York Fashion Week -- from the scene to the sets. This season's set was part underwater grotto and part crumbling castle, designed by sculptor Rachel Feinstein at Jacobs' request.
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First things first: Those hats. For the first few looks, candidly, we couldn't look at anything else but the furry, Dr. Seuss-looking pimp hats. According to The Times' Eric Wilson, the Stephen Jones toppers actually were inspired by Jamiroquai.
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Once one looked past the hats, however -- which we'll be the first to admit were more ridiculous than chic -- the clothes in the collection are marvelously inventive.
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The designer combined old-fashioned brocade dresses with thrown-on oversize knits and metallic pilgrim-looking shoes, giving the whole collection an Edwardian-meets-1600s vibe.
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Here, a coat that looks like a contemporary updated on a traditional Edwardian shape is paired with a dress that features spectacular feathered embellishments.
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The show music was centered around the song "Who Will Buy (This Wonderful Morning)" from the musical, Oliver Twist, and a model carrying one of the collection's most spectacular looks toted a small red rose as a nod to the song, which centers around a street vendor selling roses.
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Jacobs often gives hints about his inspiration using his sets and music -- see: last year's Fosse-themed show -- and in this case, "Oliver Twist" provided a glimpse into the slightly ruined, Dickensian theme running through the collection.
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Many of the looks had a darker, witchy edge to them.
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Others had the piled-on approach of a homeless Miss Havisham, piling quirky mismatched layers on top of each other.
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Overall, pimp hats or no, the collection boasted a kind of playful, inventiveness that frankly doesn't exist on the New York scene outside of Mr. Jacobs. To see this kind of conceptual approach to fashion -- and shows with this kind of theatricality -- one has to travel to Paris, where (coincidentally) Jacobs now spends much of his time designing for Louis Vuitton as well.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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A look from Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 collection.
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