How A Marc Jacobs Runway Show REALLY Comes Together

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Despite all the time spent planning, sewing, and creating a fashion collection, a Fashion Week show usually boils down to a 10-minute spectacle. That means those minutes have to count. One designer who’s known for his fantastical and memorable sets is Marc Jacobs. And, we’ve partnered with Visionaire to take you behind the scenes of his fall ’15 collection and all the work that goes into creating the perfect environment for it.

Jacobs’ inspiration for this collection was legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland. An eccentric, passionate woman, Vreeland influenced and supported legions of talent during her career as editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. The clothing paid homage to her taste for long, languid silhouettes, dramatic embellishments, and Far East motifs — but the tribute didn't end there. The backdrop was a masterpiece in its own right.

Inspired by artist Jeremiah Goodman’s 2000 watercolor rendition of Vreeland’s infamous “garden from hell” living room, the 21 floor-to-ceiling canvases were created by long-time Marc Jacobs collaborator, set designer Stefan Beckman who, with his team of 30, hand-drew, -painted, and heat-dried each one over 100 hours in his studio in Bushwick. In total, 250 gallons of paint were used on 7,300 square feet of material.

At its best, a set transports you to the vantage point from which the designer wants his wares enjoyed. And, during yesterday’s show at The Park Avenue Armory in NYC, Beckman's handiwork succeeded in making the audience feel as if they were sitting in Vreeland’s very salon. Seeing all the artistry that goes into creating that atmosphere really deepens the experience of viewing the clothes. Is it all worth it? We’ll let Vreeland answer: “If it isn’t a passion, it isn’t burning, it isn’t on fire, you haven’t lived.”

For all things Fashion Week around the world — including street style snaps, designer news, and the trends you'd actually wear — head over to Refinery29's Fashion Month hub.
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