Step Up Your Look or Be Turned Away?

Imagine wearing the most fashionable and luxurious designer gowns and tuxedos to a New York Fashion Week party and being turned away at the door for not following the dress code.

“DRESS TO KILL” is Marc Jacobs’ innovative idea for a dress code with rules that exceed those of black, or even white tie events. The invitation for the release party of the book, Gloss: The Work of Chris von Wangenheim, was released by Yahoo Style and the dress code is both fascinating and mortifying—the all-caps does not help.

Although it seems humorous and almost like an elaborate joke—for example, invitees must arrive “RIDING IN ON A WHITE HORSE”—Marc Jacobs’ reputation for extravagant parties says otherwise. With over twenty-five specifications, the invitation is unclear on how many of the rules have to be followed in order to be let in. Although the invitation claims it will be “STRICT[LY] ENFORCED,” it may be impossible for some to acquire the proper “MUSCULAR LEGS” or “GRACE JONES BUTCH REALNESS.” The options seem numerous though, with the promise of being one of the greatest parties ever thrown. Who else but Marc Jacobs to get a bunch of celebrities in one room wearing “FUR COATS OVER LINGERIE,” “BLEACHED EYEBROWS,” and “NO NATURAL LOOKS.”

Image courtesy of Yahoo! Style
Image courtesy of Yahoo! Style

Released pictures of the party, which took place this week, show celebrities donning many of Marc Jacobs “suggested” looks, with an overall atmosphere of gaudy, glamorous, shiny, and sticky. In the photos, attendees look like props, or characters from another era. They make the party and their looks in combination are incredibly picturesque, which is not surprising as the book they are celebrating contains images that “epitomized the glamour and excess of the 1970s and reflected the fashionable underworld living life on the edge,” according to’s summary.

Photo from via Marc Jacobs
Photo from via Marc Jacobs
Photo from via Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs envisioned a party like no other but knew that participation in terms of attire would be required to truly shape the energy and aesthetic of the party. Was his invitation a little harsh? Maybe, but perhaps if it had not been so, less invitees would have been persuaded to dress up. Jacobs is not unlike brides or grooms requesting that the wedding party wear a certain color. They know the color scheme will make the photographs, and thus the memories of the event, more beautiful.

So is it acceptable for a host to have such an excessive demand on attendees in terms of attire? Yes! Perhaps not for every single event, but the host knows what kind of party he or she is going for. Imagine throwing a costume party for which half the invitees do not wear a costume to. It would be a complete letdown and to some extent, disrespectful to the host. After all, they are taking the time and making the effort to plan something fun and unique. Why not indulge the host if it means more fun for everyone?

Annaluz Cabrera is a contributing writer. Email her at violet


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