I love the Marc Jacobs show. I work at Women's Wear Daily, but I don't cover fashion so I never get invited. But I always find all sorts of ways to get in. Once, I borrowed a ticket from a friend in the office who was on deadline writing reviews. Other times, I just showed up. (I am sure this did not please his staff, but someone on the payroll was always nice enough to sneak me in.)
From time to time, I was confounded by the clothes, but Jacobs' talent was always evident to me, as was the magic of the experience. What other New York designer could claim both Lee Radziwill and Courtney Love as friends and admirers? What other New York designer could show over an hour late and still manage to pack the Lexington Avenue armory to the rafters as hundreds of people waited in the cold for the chance to stand at the top of the bleachers?
Last week, Jacobs was two hours late. This caused something of a backlash with certain people in the industry, but I was not among the aggrieved. For me, the whole thing simply confirmed his status at the top of the heap and added to the anticipation that precedes his show. It's the fashion equivalent of a Madonna concert, and I certainly wouldn't expect or want her to start on time.
Think about it. Would you really like it if the salesperson at Hermes actually had an $8,000 Birkin bag in stock the minute you walked into the store and placed your credit card on the table? I am not a woman, but if I were to buy one as a gift (which is purely hypothetical since I can't even pay a cable bill on time) its availability would most assuredly convince me that something was wrong with the bag. 'Perhaps,' I would say, 'it has finally ceased to be a status symbol.' Then I'd wonder if my Birkin was defective, or a fake, or refurbished, like the iPhone Apple sent me three weeks ago as a replacement for the one I broke. It's already doing all sorts of strange things it shouldn't do.
The point is simply that that there are certain things in life you're meant to wait for, and the Marc Jacobs show is one of them. So when I read my own paper that the designer was considering moving his show to Paris because of all the snide comments people made about his lateness, I actually felt a little sad.
Yes, life in New York will go on if he leaves, just as it did when Studio 54 shut down, the hookers left Times Square, and Blondie broke up. But it would be another small indication that our city has become a little less exciting, a little more corporate, and a little less tolerant of its artists' eccentricities. (And for the record, Deborah Harry was in the front row at Marc this week and she was happy to wait.)
Come on, people. Lighten up. Be nice to Marc and ask him to stay. Try being grateful for the fact that you got invited. And if you didn't, find a way to sneak in. Yes, he's stretching the meaning of "fashionably late," but I can assure you, the wait is worth it.