Marc Jacobs SPRING 2019 READY-TO-WEARFashionRunwayVideo Breaking with recent tradition, the Marc Jacobs show started late, as in nearly an hour and a half late. Something about a truck of clothes stuck in traffic . . . . The experience took us olds in the crowd back to September 2007, when Jacobs’s 9:00 p.m. show didn’t go off until 11. That season, Suzy Menkes took Jacobs to task in the International Herald Tribune; this season, the Brits beat hasty retreats to waiting Ubers a good 45 minutes before the first model hit the runway, to catch flights back to London. Eleven years on, fashion feels like a different business—less fun and more serious. The takeaway from New York’s Spring 2019 shows is a tale of the haves and the have-nots. On one side are the big guys, with budgets to rival their European counterparts but with not much authentic or essential to say. On the other are the scrappy kids, who are idea rich but mostly resource poor. In between, mid-career designers are getting squeezed: downsizing, opting out of shows, or dropping off the calendar entirely. It doesn’t feel sustainable. Jacobs is one of the big guys, but from time to time—well, it’s been a long time, actually—he demonstrates that scrappy kid quality. The designer, who is 55 this year, was a fashion-mad teenager, and the collection he showed tonight played out like one of his fever dreams. There were callbacks to ’80s-era Yves Saint Laurent, to Karl Lagerfeld’s earliest days at Chanel (everyone says it’s the job he’s always wanted), and to his own deep archive, only everything was taken to extremes: the froth, the feathers, the giant ruffly Pierrot collars. Like cotton candy, which its pastel colors evoked, the collection was ridiculous and sublime at the same time, and its couture extravagance absolutely won you over. For the past few seasons, the fashion press, this journalist included, have worried over Jacobs’s commercial prospects. This fanciful offering won’t alleviate that. What it does reinforce is how necessary and vital Jacobs is to the local landscape. He is New York’s keeper of the fashion flame.