We haven’t seen a Jacquemus collection since last summer. Just like some other brands, Simon Porte Jacquemus decided to ditch the traditional fashion calendar even further, getting closer to the “see-now-buy-now” model. His autumn-winter 2021 collection is already available on the label’s e-shop. Another change? The designer seems to leave behind his favourite sun-drenched, South of France theme, and takes a slightly more serious, utilitarian path this season. Don’t get me wrong – it’s still undeniably Jacquemus. Just a bit more streamlined and approachable. “The smell was like fresh grass. There were sounds like little birds when you went in. I wanted to make it like a green and blue bubble—nature but unreal. Like you go in, and you find yourself somewhere else.” The IRL show was called “La Montagne”, a title which set up the anticipation that it might have literally taken a crowd to the French Alpes-Maritimes, or another outdoor spectacular such as the epic lavender-field Provençal runway show he organized in 2019. But, no. Porte Jacquemus exclaimed: “That’s exactly why I didn’t want to do a mundane location or anything. I think a lot of people are doing crazy shows outside and I didn’t want to do the race of the most crazy spots of the planet. Because I wanted to focus on the clothes and on the design, and not repeat myself, into like a perfect formula.” In other words: Porte Jacquemus is still young enough to want to be a contrarian, to be the person who never gets caught into a trend or a stereotype. There was a lot of lockdown time with his team to think about how that would shape up. Giantly and tinily was the answer, a surreally playful over-and-under proportioning of garments. “The collection started really with the frustration of corona,” he said. “We had the option, you know, to repeat ourselves, to do a perfect jacket and a nice linen dress and stuff. That’s nice, it’s beautiful, but we were super-frustrated, so we wanted to explore more.” Notionally, the Montagne of his title might resonate with everyone who’s been on that vertiginous, lonely hike through isolation from friends all this time. In practice, it wasn’t at all about athleisure. “Because I know Patagonia does much better hiking clothes than us,” he said, laughing. “Because we’re a small brand doing fashion, and we wanted to mix that with, like French couture elements. So it was between that, and the naive, happy Jacquemus of before.” It was shot in profile, video-wise, mini and maxi pieces in the same outfit, randomly framing lots of skin. Cropped puffers and abbreviated tailored jackets over bras strung together with widely placed clips – abs on show, triangular slices of inner knee on show, all popping with shots of fuchsia, orange, red. Cool, not overly demanding, easy – sometimes you just need that.
“Live” collage by Edward Kanarecki.