Marc Jacobs, the prancing prince of fashion week, is spouting off about how his show is "not going to have celebrities," because they're "boring." Sorry, Marc, but that is bullshit. You are too reliant on stars to quit them now.
Jacobs says that the only celebs at his show in September were Lady Gaga, who was hosting the afterparty, and Madonna, who showed up uninvited and you can't turn her away or she will cut you with the sharp sinew that connects her bicep to her humorus. From what we can tell, that seems true, but he doesn't count other famous personalities that also use celebs to peddle their products, like Anna Wintour and the Penis-Doodling Gossip Blogger That Shall Remain Anonymous.
But that wasn't always the case. Like the rest of the industry, Jacobs used to populate his front row with famous faces (see Posh Spice and JLo above from one of his shows). "We used to have all the celebrities and people there, and I think that at that moment in time, that's what people loved. It generated so much press and at a certain point it was like, 'Did anybody actually watch the show?'" he tells Page Six.
No, Marc, no one watched the show because fashion is as much—no, probably more—about the spectacle than it is about the clothes. Like everything in our aspirational consumerist society where people base their self-worth and self-image on the things they can buy, what you're selling isn't really a garment, it is a fantasy. It is the illusion of exclusivity, taste, and the delusion that wearing the same thing as a famous person will unleash some of that magical fairy dust of "specialness" from the collective unconscious and it will rain down and cause the person in the shiny frock to be better than everyone else and love themselves more.
When a celebrity endorses your product by wearing it or being photographed at your show, the name Marc Jacobs gets a little bit of that fairy dust too (or at least the left-over coke from the afterparty). Sure, he may be a talented designer, but the only thing that separates the name "Marc Jacobs" from any of the other talented designers out there is that intangible "it" that is the reflected glamor of celebrities. The famous get something out of it too, they get to be seen as hip and down with style and living the good life, but if Jacobs stops giving that to them there are countless others waiting to shower them with praise, gift bags, and wonderful life-sustaining press coverage.
Jacobs courted the Us Weekly denizens and they made him famous as well, and his brand sells for astronomical prices for the few who can afford his little rays of that sunshine. He thinks he's so big that he can throw them all back and call them distasteful. Oh, Marc, that is so the wrong move. You built the golem and now you have to feed it or else it will lumber down your runway and tear your set asunder. Either that, or it will just ignore you out of existence, moving on to the young thing with a degree from FIT and a dream.
The fashion industry is dependent on aesthetics but only as they are dictated to us by a handful of people in power and displayed on the people deemed fabulous enough to warrant media scrutiny and populate our tabloids, reality shows, infotainment programs, and other assorted distractions from our drab, monochrome lives of tedious repetition. The turning tides of trends are fickle and the Marc Jacobs brand could as easily follow the path of Halston—a slow fade into obscurity until it is finally purchased by a megalomaniac millionaire as a shiny, disposable toy—as it could Dior or Chanel.
So, Marc, and all you other celeb-scoffing designers out there, it's time to send out some invitations. After all, you need the celebrities more than they need you.