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The world has been tumultuous and Marc Jacobs’ summer runway presentation comes after a particularly chaotic news cycle. It’s easy to get lost in the doom and gloom of it all but for Jacobs, fashion is the escape. It’s never dour or self-serious, and nowhere is that more evident than the first line of his show notes. Stating simply, “Joy, period.” it offered a hint that tonight’s looks would be the designer at his finest — playful, beautiful, with a dash of silly humor worthy of a Monday evening in July.

Held at the New York Public Library, and promptly starting at 7:30 P.M. (Cardi B arrived at 7:38, narrowly missing the show by seconds), Jacobs set the 6 minute presentation to Trial/Prison by Phillip Glass and Robert Wilson. It kicked off with a windswept white bustier dress that instantly brought to mind Marilyn Monroe’s iconic Seven Year Itch scene. Paired with deliberately oversized sandals and doll-like eyelids with long lashes that covered the model’s eyes, it felt like a childhood fantasy come to life. Are we the kid playing dress up in mom’s closet, with too big clothes and bold makeup smeared across our eyelids? Or are we the kids playing with the dolls? However you interpret the mood, there was a levity mixed with nostalgia, especially with the polka dotted dresses that evoked a chic Minnie Mouse while another color-blocked dress could be Olive Oyl as a model.

Jacobs’ signatures were all over the looks from the big coats with Peter Pan collars to the gauzy paillette dresses to structured skirts, albeit in a supersized format. Accessories, always a highlight, were equally as tongue-in-cheek with models clutching gigantic quilted bags in candy colors — interpret that as you will for what other job he could do equally as playfully. As for the shoes, they had sharp upturned toes and elongated footbeds to give a sense of wrongness to otherwise feminine pieces. To end the show, a series of gowns worn with big white gloves that continued the ideas from his last collection, the debutante swan reinterpreted through an irreverent lens.

At the end of his notes Jacobs writes, “While the future remains unwritten, I am steadfast in my daily practice of choosing love over hate, faith over fear, and finding pause in reflection. I believe in living with authenticity — free from validation and permission of absurd conservatism and societal norms.” Consider that goal a success.