The models walked in Jacobs’ fall 2022 runway show Monday night at the New York Public Library debuting partially shaved, black hairstyles created by hairstylist Duffy. Jacobs’ show, his first in a year, was titled “Choice,” a fitting theme following Friday’s Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade
after the law was in effect for nearly 50 years. This collection was a visual expression of that sentiment, an insistence on experimentation, with a drive to move forward, shown on a cast of all genders. Given the recent moves by the Supreme Court, it was hard to think otherwise. Adding to the dystopian vibe: the models’ hairdos, which
were “shaved” on the sides with bumper bangs in a style that called to mind Sean Young’s Blade Runner replicant. Judging from images taken backstage, the buzzcuts were simulated; Duffy appears to have first given himself a clean slate by applying bald prosthetics which were then topped with black wigs.
“We have art in order not to die from the truth,” philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote in the 19th century. Over two hundred years later, his words ring true in the ears of 21st-century creatives, including designer Marc Jacobs, who used this quote from Nietzsche as an epigraph to his Fall 2022 Ready-to-Wear collection entitled “Choice.”
The collection’s name immediately invokes the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Roe v. Wade decision, but the quote about “truth” could refer to various harsh realities that have surfaced in recent months. The
quote is a justification, an affirmation, a reminder: art helps us keep going and process our emotions when the truth threatens to overwhelm us.
Unbridled creativity is the driving force behind Jacobs’ latest collection, with its exaggerated silhouettes, unexpectedly-industrial materials, and famous models made unrecognizable by matching
hairstyles featuring shaved sides and severe bangs. In his own words, Jacobs got equally deep by focusing on the concept of choice. Whether or not he wrote them before the Supreme Court
eliminated the constitutional right to an abortion, his conclusion took on a new meaning in an America post-Roe v. Wade: “We share our [creative] choices in contrast to the ongoing brutality and ugliness of
a world beyond our insulated but not impermeable walls.”
– Adrita Majumder