Jacquemus wafts a summer breeze through the heart of winter
Following its turn in Provence last June, Jacquemus came back to Paris with a bang on Saturday, hosting its coed runway show for Fall/Winter 2020-21. For the occasion, which also marked the label's eponymous designer's 30th birthday, almost 1,000 people were invited to the Paris La Défense Arena.
In the cold afternoon air, a sprawling crowd waited at the foot of La Défense's skyscrapers, as a ruthless security team called out instructions like, "I need a straight line!" or "I want you to line up two by two!"
After a long wait, the audience was allowed into a space that was as dark as it was vast. Once they had taken their seats among the never-ending rows of them that surrounded a large stage, barely illuminated by a halo of light, there was more waiting to be done, as the show began almost an hour late.
Suddenly the lights flashed on and the voice of Simon Porte Jacquemus echoed out over the audience. With his legendary simplicity, the designer presented his collection in a few words: "I was seven when I cut out a dress for my mother from a linen curtain. Here is the Year 1997 collection." In other words, this collection was going back to where it all began: the dress that started everything.
Led by Laetitia Casta, making her big comeback after a ten-year break from the catwalk, the models strutted out onto the stage and made their way across it, walking from one end to another in a continuous ballet and sporting a series of linen looks, as well as light beige pieces in the shades of ecru and grège that are so characteristic of the summery fabric. The colour palette also incorporated dusty hues of sage green and Gauloise blue.
From the moment the first looks took to the stage with all their fresh breeziness, it became obvious that this wardrobe was somewhat out of step with the seasons, consisting of sexy, summery pieces that left models' shoulders, midriffs and legs bare. With linen firmly in the starring role, Jacquemus had fun tailoring comfortable suits, enticing mini shorts, shirts that were split at the shoulders, and flowing trousers. Not to mention his dresses and trousers with cut-outs.
The women were perched on high-heeled sandals or thigh-high linen boots open at the heel, and wrapped in generous low-cut dresses or calf-length skirts with slits up the back. In place of tube tops and bras, they wore mini cardigans held closed by a single button.
And the men were just as risqué. Their unbuttoned white shirts opened over their chests, while the half-zipped flies of their jeans revealed elegant granddad-style underwear, a look that could also be seen on some women. When they weren't half-open, trousers still let the models' underwear peak out subtly at the waistline.
The overall attitude was one of nonchalant elegance, with some pieces featuring a sun-bleached dégradé effect. Jumpers, either in cosy mohair or transformed into zipped polos, further emphasised this relaxed atmosphere.
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