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Marc Jacobs and Lucie de la Falaise
Marc Jacobs and Lucie de la FalaisePhotography by Arthur Elgort, Vogue 1993 via pinterest.com

Marc Jacobs on the show that got him fired

The designer explains why his 1992 grunge tribute for Perry Ellis is still his favourite

Marc JacobsSS93 collection for Perry Ellis was a seminal moment in fashion. After joining the company in 1988, he designed a few collections that were complicit with the brand’s existing aesthetic – easy, understated American dressing. Then, in 1992, he tore things up with a highly controversial show at New York Fashion Week, starring Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss.

An ode to the Seattle grunge scene, the collection included chiffon dresses paired with Dr Martens, plaid shirts tied around the waist and baggy nightdresses. The response? Essentially, abject horror. “Grunge is anathema to fashion,” wrote legendary fashion critic Cathy Horyn in her review. "Rarely has slovenliness looked so self-conscious, or commanded so high a price.” Jacobs was fired immediately.

Now, in a new interview for T magazine, the designer has spoken out about this moment. “I had no idea I’d be fired,” he told ADULT magazine’s editor Sarah Nicole Prickett. “I’d never had any idea I’d be fired. But it’s still my favorite collection, because it marked a time when I went with my instincts against instructions, and I turned out to be right. It came out of a genuine feeling for what I saw on the streets and all around me.”

Just like Jean Paul Gaultier did with punk, Jacobs took the style of a musical subculture from the street (or in this case the gigs of Nirvana, Mudhoney and Pearl Jam) to the catwalk. Since then, the designer has continued to provoke reaction from people – whether for his theatrical shows (for both Louis Vuitton and his own label) that earned him the title of ‘fashion’s great showman’ or for his eyebrow-raising Instagram posts

Head here to read the full interview.

Marc Jacobs’ grunge-inspired SS93 show below:

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