Designer Secrets Decoded

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Marc Jacobs's spring runways slammed together influences from all over the map and timeline. Is it Americana-meets-Parisian-meets-Asian? Mary Poppins goes to the global bazaar? (Both of the above, perhaps?)

Jacobs combined multicolored blouses with gold-and-black striped skirts, layered butterfly-print tunics over leopard-print capri pants, tucked grunge-plaid button-ups into disco-shiny pencil skirts -- and then topped it all off with zebra-print handbags, chunky bangles and lace-up espadrilles.

For those of us lustfully eyeing Jacobs's sartorial melange while wistfully eyeing dwindling bank accounts, the secret to mimicking this collection on a budget is to echo its key elements. Here's how:

1. Replicate the color scheme. The collection's bold apron dress used marigold and brilliant blue for a cheerful sensibility. T-bags' color-blocked dress features a similar color palette.

2. Cinch with a metallic belt. Jacobs lent his collection an Asian-inspired twist with metallic fabric belts fastened like a Japanese obi. Do the same with a pewter-hued vintage leather version from Marion Mercer (another option: American Apparel's gold lamé sash for $24).

3. Pile on worldly accessories. Stack your wrists with chunky bangles, such as Forever 21's tribal-etched and animal-print versions.

4. Find the footwear. Jacobs's models wore sky-high platform espadrilles with black ribbons laced up the leg. For a real-world alternative, Dollhouse's platform wedges offer a more subdued crisscrossing style.

-- Michelle Thomas

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