Hands down, Marc Jacobs has one of the most anticipated shows during New York Fashion Week. One would think it’s because of all the elaborate designs that parade across his runway, season after season. But in recent years, all eyes have been on the hair and for mostly controversial reasons. Interestingly enough, for his Spring 2018 show, there wasn’t any hair shown at all — and it still has people speculating.
On Wednesday, models for Jacobs’s fashion show included Kendall Jenner, Winnie Harlow, and the Hadid sisters. Each model wore a stylish head wrap by British milliner Stephen Jones, who has made dramatic toppers for Moschino and Dior. Lead hairstylist Guido Palau shared with a group of beauty editors backstage before the show that he had a goal to simply “get rid of the hair.”
Rewinding back roughly a year ago, hair was a prominent addition to the looks of the Spring 2017 show, where the designer was called out for putting multicolored faux dreadlocks on white women. Yahoo Beauty learned from Palau that Jacobs’s muse was Lana Wachowski, the transgender director behind films such as The Matrix, who appeared in the designer’s Fall 2016 ad campaign. Many people, specifically women of color, believed the runway hairstyle was a clear form of cultural appropriation.
The designer attempted to rebound for his Fall 2017 show with a diverse cast of models showing off individuality and wearing head-to-toe looks inspired by New York City street culture and ’90s hip-hop. Palau, referring to the models, explained, “She owns that look because that’s who she is. The girl with curls … that’s her look. She has no hair, but got major attitude with the lipstick, which you love about her. But all together, you’ve got one cool gang of people.” For this show, models sported everything from large bucket hats to animal-print accessories, and to say the least, people were under the impression that Jacobs may have learned his lesson.
Now, with everyone ready to see what the hair would look like at Marc Jacobs this season, we all got a surprise. Palau didn’t have any tips to give, as there wasn’t an official hairstyle, but regarding the scarves used, he said: “I think it’s street and couture kind of themed. I think it gives you instant style, and it’s a completely finished look.” He went on to share, “I can’t really say where his [Marc Jacobs’] real inspiration came from for this character, but it does feel a little couture-y. The shapes are very sporty. So, it’s a great clash of style.” He also wrapped each model’s hair underneath, using Redken Hardwear Gel, hairspray, and water, depending on the texture — attempting to get it to lie as flat as possible.
Palau said that he was inspired by fashion icons Pat Cleveland and Grace Jones, who were often photographed wearing extravagant headdresses. While these legendary women of color were noted as being muses for the look, lots of people still weren’t all that into it.
One Twitter user wrote, “Why is literally every editor @ the @marcjacobs show celebrating the genius of no music instead of questioning the cultural appropriation??” Another individual shared similar sentiments, noting, “marc jacobs doesn’t give af anymore, the cultural appropriation is so blatant.”
marc jacobs doesnt give af anymore, the cultural appropriation is so blatant. https://t.co/bnYS3YFFVC
— めか (@retinoids_) September 14, 2017
— Patricia (@Trisha_Bateman) September 14, 2017
Oh check it Marc Jacobs with the cultural appropriation again. When will this guy learn
— Rachel Wong (@rachelwong206) September 14, 2017
— Maya Fleming (@mayanfleming) September 14, 2017
You think Marc Jacobs would've checked himself before putting all his models in turbans after last years' cultural appropriation at #NYFW.
— Etak Onamas (@kittykateface) September 14, 2017
Why is literally every editor @ the @marcjacobs show celebrating the genius of no music instead of questioning the cultural appropriation??
— Gabriella Bower (@gabriellabower) September 14, 2017
— Somebody who tweets. (@LaDiva1245) September 14, 2017
If you are wondering why people feel so strongly about the the decision for Marc Jacobs models to wear head wraps this season, a HuffPost article breaks down the sensitive ties that the head wrap has to American slavery: “Historically in the U.S., head wraps were imposed on black women as a badge of enslavement by white masters. In this way, the head covering was used to distinguish between black people without power from those who held it.” The article also goes on to explain the head wrap’s deep-rooted connection back to South Africa, where women have been known to wear doeks (printed or solid-color head wraps) as an outward sign that they are engaged, married, or bereaved.
What are your thoughts on this season’s look at Marc Jacobs? Did Marc miss the mark (again)? Sound off in the comments section below.
Read more at Yahoo Style + Beauty:
- Has Marc Jacobs Finally Learned His Lesson When It Comes to Diversity?
- 7 Controversial Fashion Week Hairstyles That Wouldn’t Fly Today
- Meet the Woman Who Dyed 12,500 Yards of Faux Dreadlocks for the Marc Jacobs Show