A black square with a cheeky joke on the Jacquemus Instagram account? A black dress to open his spring 2023 fashion show?
Designer Simon Porte Jacquemus, almost synonymous with beige, white and Mediterranean blue, seems in a mood to try new things. A midcentury couture spirit was woven through his latest see now, buy now collection, seen in the dramatic headwear and fluffy embellishments, while the menswear felt more playful and gender-fluid.
The French designer’s flair for spectacle remains unchanged: He picked the coldest day of the year to invite the fashion pack to a vast hangar at Le Bourget airport, installing a vast circular set done up in cream carpeting — and a deep pile of influencers and celebrities.
Pamela Anderson, Christine Quinn, Sophie Marceau and Vincent Cassel watched models file out around a large sheer curtain as straw rained down on their raffia-fringed outfits, their giant sun hats and their miniscule Bambini handbags, big enough for a credit card and Tic Tacs. For the finale, the curtains were lifted to reveal all the models standing on wooden plinths amid enough straw to fill 10 barns.
The theme was as subtle as a poke in the eye from a blade of raffia, but will surely play well on social media and nourish the sunny, pastoral spirt of this buzzy fashion house.
“The idea of something so summery, and almost making fun of ourselves with the hats too big,” the designer said backstage, explaining that a raffia technique developed with embroidery house Lesage became the main leitmotif and a tongue-in-cheek way of evoking fur. “We wanted something super elegant.”
Indeed, the dry material made for an unusual fur stole and a hulking yet frothy chubby — and added a scarecrow flourish to men’s suit jackets. Polka-dot capri pants were also something new on the Jacquemus runway — a nod to the way women dress in Portofino and Capri, a little straw bag dangling in the crook of their arm.
The designer, who is drawing the biggest lines on Avenue Montaigne with his Paris pop-up, said he plans to open summer locations in those Italian resort towns in 2023. He employs 250 people and the company has grown so fast that he’s outgrown his three buildings and will decamp to “massive” new headquarters in the 8th arrondissement next September.
Jacquemus also poked fun at the success of his bucket hats with their trapunto-stitched brims, here made up in ruffled miniskirts and sexy little tops. A few things looked a bit out of place, like the silver-streaked denim, but the show got back on track with fine tailoring in tightly woven straw, paired with weathered jeans.
Quinn jetted in from New York for the show and braved the Paris chill in a skimpy dress. “Anything for fashion. I sleep on the plane, I adjust to the time zone,” she enthused.
Cassel said he’s also a fan of Jacquemus, but had an extra reason to attend: His daughter Deva was making her runway debut.