Designer Marc Jacobs American
Retailer Charivari American

Not on view

This hand-knit sweater by Marc Jacobs dates from his student years (ca. 1984) at Parsons The New School for Design, before his first professional venture in 1986. The all-over polka dot pattern shows some similarity to the ‘Smile’ sweater (2009.80), which features the yellow smiley often patched onto garments by 1980s club kids and ravers.

Jacobs’ allegiance to subcultural dress codes can also be traced through the genealogy of the oversized, seemingly hand-knit deconstructed sweater introduced by Rei Kawakubo in 1982 as an antidote to 1980s power fashion. The genealogy of Kawakubo’s ‘Lace Sweater’ with holes goes back to hand-knitted punk sweaters as sold by Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren in the late 1970s.

This early sweater is both a nod to subcultural codes from the past as well as a precursor to Jacobs’ later grunge collection for Perry Ellis, which had a thriftshop aesthetic and led to his dismissal from the house as well as to international recognition and the launch of his independent label.

Sweater, Marc Jacobs (American, born New York, 1963), wool, American

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