Monday 25 February 2019

Jacquemus’ Conjures the Warmth of a Summer Afternoon in his New Autumn Collection

Like a 1920s painting, the warm Mediterranean hues of a piazza in summer created in Paris by French designer Jacquemus for his new pret-a-porter collection. Picture by Elli Ioannou for DAM
Pastel-hued houses around a pretty piazza were the backdrop to Simon Porte Jacquemus's new Autumn/Winter 2019 show in Paris. The fluid designs had bright dashes of colour that conjured up the summer warmth of a Mediterranean afternoon, writes Jeanne-Marie Cilento. Additional reporting and photography by Elli Ioannou
One of the pastel houses that form
the set for Jacquemus' new show 
FRENCH fashion designer Simon Porte Jacquemus created a Mediterranean town square with thirty-two pastel-hued houses that looked just like the fishermen's cottages enclosing a little Italian piazza on the island of Burano near Venice. Pot plants, flowers and colourful chairs were outside on the doorsteps, some even had laundry hanging out to dry from the windows. There was a Place Jacquemus with a storefront of Fruits et Legumes, Chez Marco (fleuriste) and a Rue Corbusier.

It was atmospheric and captured the warmth of summer, felt especially on a cold, dark Paris night in winter. The show was created within a large hangar-like space in the Avenue de la Porte-de-la-Villette, a lane in the 19th arrondissement at the Paris Event Centre on the periphery of the city.

In a more modest, yet singularly charming way, the show brought back the memory of Karl Lagerfeld's last, brilliant haute couture show in January at the Grand Palais where he recreated a French garden and villa on the Côte d'Azur.

Jacquemus created a town square surrounded by thirty-two pastel-hued houses

This season, Jacquemus says he wanted to incorporate the line of a Picasso drawing, the colours of his favourite paintings and move beyond his signature South of France aesthetic. He said he also wanted to mix up the masculinity and femininity of the collection, including silk suits and trompe l'oeil knitwear and add elements of both winter and summer. The designer called the collection La Collectioneuse, inspired by a collector of eclectic objects from Memphis prints to painted jeans.

Rich oranges and ochres were a
leitmotif in the collection
The collection included Seventies style orange culottes, coats recalling his new menswear line, pantsuits, skirt and sweater combinations and jackets with utilitarian pockets for the gadgets we all carry around with us.

Capturing the colours of the Riviera were splashes of vivid fuchsia, various hues of orange, emerald green and sapphire sea-blue. There were quirky, crystalline earrings where almonds, nougat and family pictures appeared suspended in clear polycarbonate looking rather like upmarket keyrings.

Accessories have been one of Jacquemus's strengths, including his bags and shoes. This season there were variations on the boot with some over the knee like waders and others with chunky, wooden heels. There were also belt-bags that were very commodious and these were contrasted with tiny, elegant handbags called the Mini Chiquito barely big enough for a lipstick.

In a singularly charming way, it recalled Karl Lagerfeld's last, brilliant couture show at the Grand Palais

Bright pink, like bougainvillea on a wall
in the South of France
Born into a family of farmers, the designer grew up in a small town in southern France. This upbringing has always informed his work and the ochre colours of the South are found as a leitmotif through his work. Just over a decade ago, when he was eighteen, he left for Paris.

He studied first at the École supérieure des arts et techniques de la mode (ESMOD) before leaving the program to work as a stylist at a fashion magazine. He began his own career as a fashion designer when he was twenty years old and created his brand Jacquemus, using his mother's maiden name.

In 2012, he presented his collection during Paris Fashion Week. His work initially became known for the fabrics he used in his collections such as workwear textiles and a simple, unadorned cut with prints inspired by French films. He has been hailed as an innovator with a new French egalitarian style that is both imaginative and highly wearable.

The designer takes his signature exhberant bow
at the end of the show
Jacquemus has received recognition for his work, including the Special Jury award by the LVMH Prize, an international competition created by Delphine Arnault for young fashion designers.
Two years ago, Jacquemus added a line of footwear to his collections which has been key to his shows along with handbags and some extraordinary hats, such as the enormous straw bolero that was seen in many magazine shoots.

Building on his growing brand, the designer last year launched his menswear collection and had a very successful showing for his second outing last month with his take on workwear, shown at an informal breakfast where bread, croissants and fruit were eaten by guests and models alike.

Tap on photographs to see more highlights from the show

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