Marc Jacobs could only offer platitudes about his collection to reporters last night at the Lexington Avenue Armory. "Life is a cabaret," he said. "All the world's a stage!" But the heavily Japanese-influenced clothes evidenced far more original thought.

I guess, speaking of clichés, it's become one to note what time Jacobs' shows start, since the debacle of two years ago. This show kicked off at a couple minutes past 8, even though guest of honor Lady Gaga hadn't graced the front row with her presence. (She was let in, late.)


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As you can see, ruffles were a theme of the collection. But they weren't treated as pretty-pretty trim, but rather as something more sculptural. There were thickly ruffled rompers and mini-dresses, and ruffles standing stiffly at the hems of skirts. Ruffles took on dimension. This pantsuit wears its ruffles like Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons.


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Many of the looks were worn with organza pants the likes we haven't seen since I Dream Of Jeannie was on the air. We sense a coming trend, for better or for worse.


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However, that's all part of the larger theme of lingerie, and layering — what goes underneath and what goes on top — which Jacobs loves to toy with.


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It was also lovely to see his old staple, the long, full prairie skirt, done with a sharply tailored military jacket.


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And I cannot wait to wear a (slightly longer) version of this ensemble, come spring.


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This one, not so much. But I love the torsolette.


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Because this is Marc Jacobs, of course there would be plaid. Only this time, it's studded with pearls.


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This handkerchief-hem dress actually has pearls at the joins between the points on the bodice. Others have already pointed out that the reference is to legendary 1970s designer Zandra Rhodes.


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And don't you just love the pearls at the collar points?


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Ruffles also turned up on a number of lovely longer dresses.


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Like this one, modeled by Jamie Bochert.


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One unflattering jumpsuit got the same treatment.


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And in any show, there's always that one look that makes you recoil. This was the one point where Jacobs' aesthetic tended towards the girlish, the unfinished.


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But sticking to the tailoring, to the inspiration of Kawakubo and Kabuki theater, Jacobs looked right on the money.


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And certainly never less so than with this ethereal confection.