An Illustrated View of Marc Jacobs S/S14

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Marc Jacobs S/S14
Marc Jacobs S/S14Illustration by Helen Bullock

An exclusive illustrated view of Marc Jacobs' "a lovely nightmare" on the final day of New York S/S14 fashion week courtesy of Helen Bullock

Marc Jacobs closed the end of New York fashion week with "a lovely nightmare". To celebrate, here we pluck out our top five horror references from his post-apocalyptic catwalk alongside exclusive illustrations courtesy of Helen Bullock and photography by Jen Dessinger.

1. The Flying Dutchman
The spirit of the Phantom Ship flitted over the Armory on Lexington Avenue as the show started promptly at 8pm. Outside, rain was pouring and lightning was striking. Inside, the set mimicked a disheveled beach, complete with the skeleton of a wooden ship. As screeching violins and a spooky organ began to play, models walked down the runway dressed in oversized period officer jackets in burgundy, navy blue and black. Decorated with velvet details, trimmings and tassels galore, they added a sinister 17th century edge to the collection.

"The set mimicked a disheveled beach, complete with the skeleton of a wooden ship"

2. Lydia Deetz
Towards the end of the show, there were several winks to Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice heroine. Gothic Victorian dresses in embroidered, shiny black taffeta and see-through chiffon (combined with Teva-like sandals) gave the models the lovely yet sinister and melancholic look of a 1988 Winona Ryder.

3. Lord of the Flies
In their flat shoes and short, streaky blond wigs, models could have passed for 13 year old boys shipwrecked on a desert island, coping on their own in a post-apocalyptic wilderness. Over-the-knee shorts worn with sequinned sneakers added to the schoolboy look, while red and green leaf prints (especially in a far East-inspired coat and long dress) were inspired by the mysterious charm of exotic lands.

4. Gotham City
Backstage, Marc Jacobs described the show as “a weird frat party, shores-of-Gotham City sort of beach scene”. The dark atmosphere of corruption, crime and urban decay of the fictional city created by DC Comics was not lost on any of the guests, who wondered whether Jacobs was referencing pessimism and the lost battle against global warming. The designer, however, saw it simply as “a lovely nightmare”.

5. Capitalism
A sweater embroidered in red and white with the wave of a Coca-Cola can. Cigarette butts, Big Gulp cups and old magazines scattered on the set. Winks to Paul McCarthy’s work White Snow (a disfigured version of Disney, 1950s suburbia and 21st century greed). In a pop art-influenced way, and perhaps unconsciously, the potentially devastating consequences of capitalism are not lost on Jacobs.

Text by Marta Represa