#SuzyPFW: Jacquemus: A Sensual Paradise
Simon Porte ran across the tile-patterned floor, hugged his fashion idol Christian Lacroix – and gave away the secret he had been promising all week on social media. The words printed on his hoodie marked the launch of a Jacquemus menswear line.
The designer who took his late mother’s maiden name, his early collections often marked with holes to represent the loss, said he had fallen in love, and that had inspired the addition to his fashion load.
“I did the Jacquemus woman for my mother – it’s her name and I wanted the men’s to be something I should feel,” he said. “It’s not just like, oh we are a brand and I am a man so we have to do men’s.”
But there was yet another man shadowing this joyous collection: Yves Saint Laurent. Because no collection inspired by Marrakesh – its colours of the Maghreb, its dresses slithering from shoulders to ankles and its hefty North African jewellery – could fail to recall the YSL heritage.
“I got lost in the souks with one thing on my mind – I wanted to make it my next collection,” said Porte, who had even contemplated bringing fashion aficionados to Morocco. Yet the young designer, who said that the new Yves Saint Laurent museum in Morocco made his eyes fill with tears, took the look and made it his own. He showed the elegant sensuality of ankle-length dresses, split open at the side, and wrapping the bosoms. The entire collection was sensuality incarnate.
The choice of colours was the first attention grab: the russet of Riad tiles; the deep blue of a midday sky – and those two shades together for a top and over-the-knee length skirt. Then there were the softer colours – pale blue, white and fading sunset pink. And just as you started to remember how many designers have been inspired by North Africa, Simon Porte put in a characteristic of his own: airy holes in the skirts in remembrance, again, for the loss of his mother.
The grand space of the Petit Palais could have been part of an Arabic Medina with its tiles swirling across the floor, where the models walked boldly in shoes with rounded heels – a Jacquemus signature. As are the single earrings, striking as a cascade of gilded wheat; or a more normal pair, which might be a multi-coloured drops of blue, russet, pale green and orange.
The striking part of the Jacquemus work is the body language: frank but never vulgar, powerful but feminine – all this achieved with the skills of draping. For example, the front of a shirt flowed loosely, or the silhouette of the body appeared in a semi-sheer dress, caught in well below the knees.
Here is a designer who – from big parasol of a sunhat to the drape of a cotton shirt – loves women. How fortunate for the males that the talented and energetic designer will make clothes for them, too.
And Lacroix put into words what many people in the room were saying before the show: “I was dreading hearing that he had been bought up by one of the. big fashion houses. But his own menswear is good news.”