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Marc Jacobs leads pack at NY Fashion Week

MARC Jacobs moved fashion toward femininity at New York Fashion Week, even if the other designers who previewed spring collections aren't quite there yet.

His show last night, with Madonna in the front row, didn't take a completely new direction from the emerging look of the season, which was already a little softer than fall's warrior. Jacobs just pushed the needle a little farther with lots of ruffles, pearls and even bloomers.

Elsewhere, it's been the bandage look that has been popular - at Herve Leger, of course, where it is the signature item - but also at Carolina Herrera, Alexander Wang, Lela Rose, Nicole Miller and in Victoria Beckham's new collection.

Slashes and cutouts came along with the bandages, adding a little sex appeal at Derek Lam, Rachel Roy and Zac Posen, among other runways. The slashes show some skin, but not so much that it couldn't be office-appropriate when placed on a shoulder or back.

Marc Jacobs reminded style-watchers why he is called a bellwether with his very feminine clothes, which is probably what other designers will present two seasons from now.

There were frou-frou ruffles and pearl embellishment, yet his muse was still a woman with an edge. Think of his customer as the cool, creative type who can find the best thing in a vintage store, or buy Jacobs' blush-colored ruffled jersey dress that mimics it.

Some of his looks went much farther than that - balloon genie pants and pleated bloomers come to mind - but those are for magazine spreads, not the real world. For store racks, he offered wearable jackets that had a hint of military influence and suits that could be the wave of the future, with a stream of ruffles down the jacket that continued on the skirt or trousers.


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