Lending credence to my and probably your suspicions that fashion designers actually kind of hate women, Marc Jacobs appears to be doing away with them for his latest ad campaign, choosing as his model 22 year-old Cole Mohr. While freakishly pale and thin, Mohr is undeniably male, yet is photographed modeling classic little black dresses, cropped pea coats, and the monstrosity shown at left. I’m relieved to see that I’m not the only one put off by Mohr’s sullen face, awkward poses (he looks like he’s staggering drunk out of a tranny nightclub here) and the creepy, washed out snuff film lighting in the ads; fashionista bulletin boards seem to suggest that at best no one can seem to figure out just what in the hell Jacobs is trying to sell, if anything. I don’t imagine the average woman, or even the woman who can afford clothes designed by Marc Jacobs, is going to look at these ads and be able to picture herself in the same dresses modeled by someone who looks like the living embodiment of Jack Skellington. We can only hope that this isn’t yet another attempt at claiming that the next hot thing in fashion will be men wearing dresses and skirts, just as Jean Paul Gaultier kept insisting was going to happen any day now back in the early 90s. Then again, just today I became aware of the existence of something called Mantyhose, so who knows. Yeah. Mantyhose. That’s fucking awesome.
This isn’t the first time this year that Marc Jacobs’ ad campaigns have raised neatly manicured eyebrows in the fashion world. Just a few months ago he released a series of photos featuring everyone’s favorite haute couture non-humanoid Victoria Beckham wearing clothes that appeared to have been inspired by Jacobim Mugatu’s ‘Derelicte’ line in Zoolander. Once again, the question was raised: um, what? I’ve seen runway shows where it’s clear the designers aren’t creating ready-to-wear clothing, but something more akin to wearable sculpture (ugly wearable sculpture sometimes, but sculpture nonetheless). This is probably the first time I’ve seen an ad campaign for a designer who seems determined to make his own clothing look as unattractive as possible. If Victoria Beckham, who likely has Christian Louboutin shoes falling out of her ass, looks ridiculous in Jacobs’ clothes, what is the point of marketing it towards the public at large?
Naturally, the obvious answer is that, by having women’s clothing modeled by a pasty, scowling man-boy and making a fashion icon look like a Martian crackhead, Jacobs is drawing publicity to his latest releases. Okay, fine, but that still doesn’t explain how he intends on selling anything. I can’t picture anyone walking into Bloomingdales, grabbing a salesgirl and asking “Where can I find that Marc Jacobs cocktail dress that the anorexic lad was modeling in last month’s In Style? I really need to look like I’m some sort of schizophrenic cross between Frank N. Furter and Kate Moss, that’s the new look I’m really going for.”
Eh, but what do I know, I shop at Old Navy.