The Origin of Species
and the evolution of Mr Marc Jacobs
I'm all for a feelgood makeover. Who doesn't secretly enjoy a good old hair-dying, wardrobe spring cleaning movie montage scene resulting in a well deserved ego boost for the slightly self pitying protagonist?
There are cases when this "ugly ducking" sequence should be left quite alone. Ugly Betty is a good example of knowing where the boundries are, she has a refreshingly geniune dis-interest of the fashion world and you certainly wouldn't find her attempting to wriggle into a rubber rollneck dress ala Amanda. This is why viewers have been so drawn to a Queens girl who didn't lose herself in the big city.
I used to think that it seemed that Marc Jacobs didn't quite get the memo about this "ugly betty balance", and that instead he indulged himself in the ultimate transformation, selling out to the LA image of perfection and leaving more than few people a little baffled.
Out shuffled Marc, the uncool bespectacled librarian-alike who along with Wes Anderson (and more recently Adam Brody's Seth Cohen) made women realise that it wasn't a gay best friend or Hans the buff Euromodel that we want, but a charming nerd who donns a bow tie and knows how to please us in the wardrobe department.
In countless interviews, Jacobs has described himself as being terribly insecure; ("The thing is, I do base a lot of my self-worth on the opinion of other people. I’m not only what I do for a living, but it is a huge part of my life, so the opinion of others, whether critics, customers, or friends, does really affect me, and that is a huge breeding ground for insecurity.") he used to hate looking at his own reflection in the mirror and he used his own clothes as something to hide behind.
Well, "unfortunately" for us, uncool bespectacled librarian-alike Marc did turn into that buff, sunned model guy, and he went a step further and got Spongebob tattooed on this arm.
The transformation didn't stop here. Oh no. A spring clean of his muses went underway too. While Sofia is still a best friend, Victoria Beckham is now on speed dial, and the weird girls he proclaimed as cool in his adverts have now had to make way for his glossier ladies.
Although I want to hold onto that image of Jacobs the Geek, for my own selfish fairytale reasons, take a look at the Marc Jacobs of 2007, and you'll notice the confidence he seems to radiate. Instead of the shy blue-shirted Marc who reluctantly waved down the runway five years ago, these days Mr Muscle zooms down the catwalk, showing off his abs and more to the point his grin!
"The funny thing is.. [with] blogs, there’s a bunch of people who’ve said, “Oh, we liked the way he used to look, when he was grungy, and now he just looks like every Chelsea queen, blah blah blah,” and I just think, You know what, I’m just going to do what makes me happy. And I’m the same exact person, so if my haircut is too Chelsea for somebody, and if I’ve changed from funny awkward ’70s reading glasses to contact lenses, and if I’m tan now and in slightly better shape, well, it’s too bad. My behavior and my likes and dislikes are the same."