Le Papier. Jacquemus AW22

After a show in Hawai’i with mostly local guests, Simon Porte Jacquemus landed in the salt mountains of the Camargue park in the South of France for his beautiful autumn-winter 2022 collection. The guestlist in France was far longer than the one for his Pacific trip, with trainfuls of international buyers, press, stylists, and models arriving through the Avignon station hours before the show. After car rides and bus rides they arrived at the otherworldly location at dusk, the Rhone and the sea crashing into the harsh terrain. Several remarked that it looked like being on the moon: clear water, icy salt, lilac sky. Between the mountains of salt, Jacquemus had carved out a runway that wound down a hillside. His models descended from the top of the mount, their trains whipping in the wind, their tulle veils blowing up into clouds, looking like chic extras in Dune. Once the looks were on eye-level the reality became clearer. Working with a brute hand and humble-yet-lovely materials, Jacquemus was repositioning his brand and his look away from the Pop vibes of recent years and towards something more finessed. “I started working on the collection with the obsession to restart from nothing, like a white page,” he said. The first two things he filled his page with were ideas of comfort and couture; “every couture,” he elaborated, talking about fusing the security of a blanket or pillow with the easy drama of a pleated ball skirt or cocoon jacket. His impending nuptials, set to take place in the South in two months, also influenced the scene: the show began with two models hugging and dancing. At 61 looks, that white page of ideas filled up quickly. Shearling coats, puffer vests, and cargo pants are what Jacquemus does best for men, and here he had loosened up the shapes for a more serene spirit, adding his new Humara sneaker in collaboration with Nike. For women, his simplest ideas are best, like a white tulle midi dress with a piece of burlap-colored canvas tied around its front for a pure, maidenly look. Jacquemus’s body-baring pieces are a good counter to the Lycra cling-couture of other Parisian houses: the diaphanous white dress Mica Arganaraz wore is unimpeachably pretty. Luxe ball skirts over trousers and a little white tulle explosion coming out the side of a black tuxedo dress added a little swoosh to the Jacquemus strut. In many ways, the collection was a harkening back to where Jacquemus started. His crafty couture of the mid-2010s defined that moment’s irreverent, bourgeois arty look – think of his polka dots of autumn 2017 or his prairie girls of the previous spring, clothes that were cute, cheeky, and surprisingly elegant. Jacquemus’s new take relies a lot on drama, but of volumes and precarious straps and cinching that may not translate as easily into a real life away from the Space Age salt mountains. It won’t deter him. “I want to be the name of my generation,” he said post-show, implying that whatever big fashion jobs might be available, he is not in the running. “I want to work for Jacquemus – and Jacquemus is a big house.” He stopped playing by the fashion system’s rules, but the fashion industry still wants him.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.


Take Her To Monte Carlo. Chanel Resort 2023

The day before presenting her Chanel resort collection on a sandy runway slicing through the pebbles of the Hotel Monte-Carlo Beach, the brand’s artistic director Virginie Viard was in a nostalgic mood. As she garlanded her models in jewelry dripping with gilded dolphins and sea shells in the cavernous space of the hotel’s poolside Art Deco ballroom, Viard recalled many happy moments spent with Karl Lagerfeld in the monied, minuscule principality where he maintained an apartment and leased the extraordinary Belle Epoque villa La Vigie. It was on the terraces of this villa that Viard remembered Lagerfeld shooting Linda and Christy in the iconic sequin scuba jackets from his spring 1991 collection. “That was very funny,” she recalled, “I adore La Vigie. At the end I was here every year: for the Bal de la Rose, with Karl, Caroline, Charlotte, for shootings… We would always go to Rampoldi, Karl’s favorite restaurant.” It was those memories of Princess Caroline and her equally beauteous daughter Princess Charlotte that infused the spirit of the collection, as well as a playful take on what else Monte Carlo means to the designer – “the casino, Helmut Newton’s girls, the car races… we like to play with all the cliches!” As Viard added, the inspiration drew on collective memories. Sofia Coppola, for instance, who filmed the resort collection with her brother Roman this season, remembered a family trip to watch Ayrton Senna race in the 1992 Monaco Grand Prix – “noisy, glamorous, exciting!” said Coppola – when they were all invited to stay at La Vigie.

Thinking of those races by way of Charlie’s Angels, Viard dressed her girls in a racing driver’s all-in-ones and mechanic’s overalls, although these were sequined and, perhaps, designed as trompe l’oeil jacket and pant combinations. There were silk prints of waving starter flags fashioned into drifting chiffon skirts to graze the ankles, and tweeds woven from images of massed cars on the tracks, abstracted on the loom into a shimmer of asphalt gray and brilliant primaries. And for purses, how about an adorable mini full-face driver’s helmet? Sure to be high on the Chanel addict’s must-have list. There are also wrestling shorts, biker jackets, cricket sweaters, and tennis rackets if you are so inclined. The Helmut Newton inspiration, meanwhile, meant some sexy attitude in the shirt dresses slouched off a shoulder and a plethora of short shorts and minis that brought with them the promise of summer. The wonders of the 19M ateliers of craftspeople were reflected in touches like the bouquets of beautifully crafted silk flowers, an evening slink bristling with feather fronds (both supplied by Lemarié), and witty t-shirts sequined to suggest racing driver’s tops (sleeves branded with linking Cs), or scattered with pretty floreate embroideries by the storied houses of Lesage and Montex. “It’s very inspiring to be here,” said Viard, looking across to the pool and the Mediterranean waters to the high rise metropolis rising up the hills beyond, “It’s easy.” Just like Viard’s breezy collection and her uncomplicated vision for dressing today’s Chanel woman. 

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Baie des Anges. Celine sS22

Celine chose to present its spring-summer 2022 collection on Nice’s historic Promenade Des Anglais, a site which was built in the 18th century by the English aristocracy who took up a second home for their winter residence. The collection, entitled “Baie des Anges“, nodded to this historic setting, and was presented via a catwalk film, directed by Hedi Slimane himself, and starring Celine girls (including Kaia Gerber). Love it or hate it, this was a 100% Hedi collection. But one thing I’ve gradually started to appreciate about his Celine line-ups is their absolute timeless-ness and versatility. If you’ve got a striped shirt, a vintage black blazer, a pair of perfectly-fitting jeans and a cap, you can recreate pretty much every Celine collection from the last two years. However, at the same time, Slimane’s recent collections are just so undemanding design-wise and uniform that you start to wonder if they even need fashion shows. The main spring-summer 2022 image that stucks in your mind is the following: to the endlessly cool soundtrack of Can’s 1972 deep cut Vitamin C, the as always super-skinny models walk along the riviera, in their sharply tailored jackets paired with bralettes, bodycon sequin skirts and platform trainers. Sequins are a recurring theme throughout the collection – not only do they adorn a khaki loungewear hoodie and tracksuit co-ord, but also a figure-hugging, cowl-neck dress with a matching clutch bag, and golden pussybow shirts with bouffant sleeves, worn with knee-length jersey shorts. Hedi Slimane is no longer interested in shocking fashion moments – rather, he prefers to focus on proper wardrobe classics and the “too cool to care” styling.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Saint Tropez

Everybody’s heard of Saint Tropez, but the stereotype we all know is quite misleading. It’s imagined to be a sort of place you learn about through the amniotic murk – an iconic coastal town barnacled with Mediterranean hedonism. But to be honest, in fact this place is rather calm and peaceful. At least off-season. With its rolling countryside, long, golden beaches, and breathtaking light, Saint-Tropez is one of the French Riviera’s most gorgeous destinations. This picturesque peninsula on the Côte d’Azur still embraces its history as a quiet fishing village and artists’ enclave – it lured painters such as Henri Matisse long before it was made famous by legendary beauty Brigitte Bardot, who has called it a “little nook of paradise.” Here are the two places I’ve especially loved in this town:

The Dior Villa. If you read my site for a while, then you know I’m not a Dior person (especially Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dior). But somehow, in Saint Tropez, it all clicked – the intricately embroidered eveningwear, the pearl jewellery, the glassware… this is the French way. And of course loved the delightfully furnished store, which as well serves coffee in its yard.

13 Rue François Sibilli

Lots of huge, old cypress trees and yes, Brigitte Bardot is everywhere…

L’Atelier 55 specialises in vintage, restored design and it has a branch of stores located in Paris, Megève and other French destinations. Their boutique in Saint Tropez is kept in matching, Mediterranean style and its filled with original 1960s posters, Pierre Jeanneret armchairs and plates illustrated by Jean Cocteau. The staff here knows pretty much everything about 20th century French design, so you can always treat this place like a sort of encyclopedia. And if you’re planning to move to Saint Tropez… you know where to get your furniture!

29 Boulevard Louis Blanc


All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Villa Ephrussi De Rothschild

Can’t believe I’m finally finishing my coverage from our French Riviera road trip, which took place back in January! I just can’t not write about the beautiful Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, located on a hill just a few kilometres from Cap Ferrat. The villa of Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild houses a rich fine and decorative arts collection (the owner had collected well over 5,000 pieces ranging from fine furniture to paintings, statues, and porcelain dinnerwar), all exhibited in a Belle Époque, Italian-style palazzo. Hiring and firing at least ten architects during the seven-year building period, it reflects her taste perfectly. She used it as residence and party villa until the 1930s before bequeathing it to the Institute de France for use as a fine art museum. The magnificent park with nine distinct gardens is equally attractive year-round (we’ve been there in January, although it felt like it’s mid-spring!). The mild weather of the Côte d’Azur ensures that there are always flowers in bloom but spring and high summer see the most vibrant colors. Visitors may wander through the gardens at will but do pick up a map of the garden. Following the suggested route, you can stroll through the gardens with Villefranche-sur-Mer views before scaling a small hill and descending next to the waterfall into the French garden in front of the villa. Spending an afternoon here feels like a dream.

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.