Jacquemus: an ode to his sensual mum
And we’re off. Three weeks into the international ready-to-wear runway season and the caravanserai arrives in Paris. Its first stop? A wonderfully sensual show by Jacquemus staged inside the Picasso Museum and dedicated to his beautiful mother Valérie.
She must have been some lady, judging by the sophisticated sensuality and bold beauty of these clothes. Moreover, Madame Jacquemus was able to inspire her designer son’s prettiest collection of his career.
“I don’t think I ever saw my mother more beautiful than on evenings after the beach and probably when she was in love. Evenings when we would go for a walk around the port, past the souvenir shops filled with earrings, ceramics, sarongs and headbands. That’s the woman I wanted to talk about this season. “La Bombe,” as we say in the South,” said designer Simon Porte Jacquemus.
Jacquemus is something of a cult designer in France known for his sense of exaggerated volumes and quirky concepts. So, it was great to see him reduce his silhouette to make such charming clothes, worn on a cast which very clearly loved the clothes there were wearing. Always a good sign in a runway show.
A great exercise in pure draping: the simple blouses, warp skirts, and tiny cocktails in mono-color cottons and jerseys were all lovingly swept around each torso. Delicate yet hyper sexy. The designer contrasted these pure looks with tiny micro bags and asymmetrical accessories. The heels of his shoes and his earrings never matched. Gothic wrought iron or futurist balls for the shoe heels; gold leaf and chunky black square mixed up in the earrings.
In a smart piece of management – Jacquemus staged his show on the final day of the Milan shows, traditionally one when critics, stylist and editors take a deep breathe and a long bath to prepare themselves for the final push in Paris. It meant he was Monday’s only Paris show. As a score of TV crews circled him in the courtyard of museum in the Marais, rain suddenly began to fall. But nothing could take away from the heat of this show, and his after-party, which roared on until 2AM.
All told, a wonderful way to recall a deeply loved parent. Son Simon designed a dress for mum Valérie in beige linen when he was just seven. His mother wore it the next day when she took him to school.
“The ideas look simple, but the draping was very complicated. Everyone knows me for very constructed clothes. But, I wanted light and simple this season. All earrings came from my mother’s furniture and curtains, which she changed often. That’s why they had to be absolutely mismatched,” he added, as the first drops of rain fell.
Tragically, Valerie Jacquemus died aged 42 years in a car crash, when her son Simon was just 18. Returning to Paris from his small hamlet of Bramejean, north of Marseilles, Simon founded his brand shortly afterwards. She was his first and biggest supporter, and could only have been enormously proud of a son capable of creating such an utterly charming collection.
She must have been a beautiful lady.
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