NY Fashion Week: Henry Jacobson
by PJ Gach
EDGE Style Contributor
Monday Feb 6, 2006
Where and how can I begin to accurately describe this show? Incredible, unbelievable,
gorgeous, witty, divine –these words- these clichés cannot do justice to this designer.
Personally I haven’t
seen such wit, such joie de vivre, elegance, smarts and whimsy rolled into one designer since Moschino was alive and designing
his own line. Designer Henry Jacobson began as an All American tennis player(sidelined due to bad elbow), became a management
consultant and on vacation in Thailand, stumbled into a shop where he fell in love with their ties. Back in the states, he
began designing ties and created Mulberry Neckwear. Soon the company was creating ties for Kenneth Cole, Jerry Garcia and
other big name brands. Jacobson then expanded to men’s shirts and this Friday, marked the debut of hi high-spirited,
playful and truly American line of men’s clothing.
The show opened with a bang- cowboys strode out. Wearing Stetsons,
plaid shirts opened to the navel and warmly colored blazers in red, blue, green, brown and tan. Up next was casual weekend
wear; newsboy caps, striped sweaters, blazers in a palette that echoed autumn leaves. Pumpkin, burnt sienna, maple red, forest
green, yellow and blue.
Shearling coats were either big and comfy- with and without hoods- or done in the classic aviator
style. Then flights of fancy took over and the crowd literally oohed and aahed in appreciation. Business wear was shown; first
as your basic business suit, but with zingy brightly colored ties and then… suits with shirts whose collars were high,
Edwardian with foppish ties. No, they didn’t look costumey, they looked sensual. Suddenly you saw men wearing biz cas
clothing carrying messenger bags that either said “24/7” or “Open for business.” A model strode through
wearing a heavy paisley silk robe that billowed sumptuously. On the back of the belt,” stock jock” was embroidered
in gold. Another model wore a heavenly high necked navy and white striped shirt, double-breasted navy waistcoat and pants
and carried some sort of a stick.
There was an hommàge to firefighters, the military and yes cowboys and Indians.
Did they look like refugees from a musical? No, they looked like something you couldn’t wait to get your hands on. The
knitwear was superb. The pants were eminently flattering, the blazers were perfectly tailored. And those suits, if was hard
to sit in the seat, you just (okay, maybe me) just wanted to leap on and drag one of those models off the runway. It wasn’t
so much the models as it was the clothing. Oh, the expert tailoring! The color! The snappy fun messages that were either embroidered
on the clothing or telegraphed through the fabric! It was a joy to watch.
The women’s’ wear was also a
cheeky delight. Zowey gowns reminiscent of Jean Harlow and just as slinky. A killer beige sweater ensemble with a huge red
heart dead center not only in the sweater but on the arm warmers and legs.
A male model came out swirling a denim cape,
wearing plaid pants and a black shirt, his female counterpart wore a shorter denim cape, plaid skirt and denim bustier. Okay,
maybe his outfit was a bit, shall we say, not for everyday, but damn! The audience ate it up.
Some of the items were
definitely runway only. I doubt few men are going to want to wear a navy, heavily gold embroidered, wide lapeled quasi military
jacket to work. But the majority of the men’s wear was dead solid perfect for the modern man. Unfortunately the women’s
clothing was conceptual; created only for the show. Maybe next season the women’s wear will go to the stores. Yes, this
was a wild show. But this was Jacobson’s debut, and he wanted to show the world that he’s not just a tie maker,
but a designer.
Did he do it? The crowd of hardened fashionistas gave him a standing ovation. I think he did.
Factor: Starving cheetah racing after wounded antelope.
Goodie bag: A flame tipped rose.
PJ Gach is a Contributing Writer for the Style Section of the EDGE group of publications. She’s a
Manhattanite, a proud dog owner, gal about town and freelance writer. Some of the publications her pieces have appeared in
are The New York Post, Rolling Stone (web & mag), Ingenue Magazine and Drill magazine. In her spare time, she rescues