Simon Porte Jacquemus had a terrible summer. While he hinted at personal strife backstage, he wouldn’t say exactly what happened, letting his strange, melancholic show tell a tale of burden, frustration and unfinished business.

 

He enlisted his seven-year-old cousin, Jean, to roll out a giant ball wrapped in red fabric, and later, drag a giant red necktie across the circular show set, occasionally stumbling under its weight. (Given that the ushers at Paris shows are known as “cravates rouges,” or red ties, was this a wry comment on the fashion system?) And then a white horse trotted out, symbolizing hope, the designer said, likening his oblique set play to a piece of Italian theater.

 

The collection was as naïve as ever: Navy jackets, white shirts and red minidresses and skirts dissected into halves, occasionally quarters, and bound to the body with white laces, red sashes or circles of white fabric — circles being a fetish Jacquemus motif.

 

As a spectacle, it effectively portrayed the anguish and ache of a young designer whose spring victory — scoring a 150,000-euro ($169,000 at current exchange) special jury award in the second annual LVMH Prize — did not carry over into an idyllic August. Meanwhile, the clothes, while raw and skimpy, were often cute, and sexier than usual. So maybe there is hope.

By  on September 29, 2015

Simon Porte Jacquemus had a terrible summer. While he hinted at personal strife backstage, he wouldn’t say exactly what happened, letting his strange, melancholic show tell a tale of burden, frustration and unfinished business.

 

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