Back in May 2013, it was announced that Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier would be taking the reigns of Marc by Marc Jacobs as of AW14, this week saw their debut at New York Fashion Week. Luella Bartley took the 00’s by storm, her designs embodying London style with her quirk and punk references, the Edith dress was an instant classic, however 2009 saw her fall victim to the recession, causing us to say goodbye to London’s favourite brand.
Luella Bartley is not only a champion of British style, she also kickstarted a trend for ‘It’ bags, designing Mulberry’s Gisele bag, the first of Mulberry’s accessory revolution, therefore it is no surprise that fashion lovers jumped with glee at her return. Not only is Bartley jumping on Marc by Marc bandwagon, but she is also going with close friend and fellow Central St Martin’s alum Katie Hillier, hired by Marc Jacobs himself as ‘creative director’, Hillier being the bunny-loving jewellery designer adored by many, as seen in LOVE and I-D Magazine. These two ladies have been heralded as the dynamic duo who can change the face of this diffusion line, which judging by their credentials, seems eminent.
February 11th saw the fashion pack descend upon the Marc by Marc Jacobs showspace, modelled after a bikers park (a sign of things to come?) Luella devotees Alexa Chung and Katie Grand were sat front and centre as well as Marc Jacobs and close friend Sophia Coppola, all in anticipation of the new generation of the brand. In true Marc by Marc Jacobs style, the collection rocked a fresh, cool aesthetic, especially pandering towards the 18-30 demographic, taking a few risks but they certainly paid off. Bartley and Hillier paid homage to punk, biker, ballerina chic (only made possible by these two) with an abundance of tulle, plaid and leather, a definite highlight of the show being one of the most perfect leather jackets of all time. Structure came by way of oversized waist clinching belts and bowed scarves around the shoulders, after all, it wouldn’t be Luella if there weren’t a few bows. A fairly limited colour palette really pulled the show together, with a few sneak peaks of colour in bold, statement making blue and red plaid.
Another statement piece, the second look from the show, came in the form of a black knee length tunic with the word ‘Revolution’ in bold writing, a reference to both their biker influences and the future of Marc by Marc Jacobs. Overall, this debut was true to form, in the fact that it was weird, wonderful and sent buyers into a frenzy, unsurprising of two of the most exciting designers of our time. On a more personal note, I am so happy that Luella Bartley is back, she has been sorely missed.