After taking his guests to a lavender field in Provence and a wheat field outside Paris, Simon Porte Jacquemus staged his first fashion show in a year in a film studio in an industrial zone on the outskirts of the French capital.
But unlike the elaborate village square he recreated for his fall 2019 collection, this set was simple to the point of abstraction: a green mound surrounded by a blue wall that brought to mind the “Teletubbies” children’s TV show.
“I wanted to focus on the clothes, the silhouettes, the colors, the fabrics, the details and the energy of the models. I wanted the set to be minimal and sharp, recreating an abstract artistic mountain that portrays the inspiration of the collection,” Jacquemus said on a yellow card left on guests’ seats.
In an unusual step, the designer – who recently shared the news of his wedding with his 3.5 million followers on Instagram – declined interviews. This newly reclusive approach coincided with the brand’s shift to a seasonless model, with the coed “La Montagne” collection available to buy immediately after the show.
That put the focus squarely on his cast, which included Kendall Jenner, making her first Paris runway appearance since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and Bella Hadid, who the week before had attended the Dior men’s show as a front-row guest.
Both sported ultra-skimpy looks that echoed the off-duty outfits they wore to the show, in a neat bit of synergy that should set cash registers ringing. The barely-there fuzzy black cardigan that Jenner donned on the runway is available for pre-order on the Jacquemus website, priced at 230 euros.
The collection was segmented into color-coded blocks, presumably for ease of online browsing, and was inspired by trekking and ski garb, mixed with the label’s signature lingerie-inspired looks. Boys and girls wore midriff-baring knit tops, paired with ample trousers with foldover waistbands and decorative cord details below the knee.
Shearling and puffer jackets – long for him, cropped for her – alternated with tailored looks. An ’80s-style beige men’s suit jacket came with dropped shoulders and gathered sleeves, while women’s jackets and coats with jutting shoulder pads looked slick when secured with hook belts, and messy when sliced away at the chest.
Fabrication has never been the designer’s forte, and it was lacking on his stretchy women’s suits with flared pants, which puckered at the seams.
But he has a knack for creating must-have items, which this season included the aforementioned micro-cardigan, fastened with a metallic Jacquemus nameplate; furry orange mules (515 euros) and the new rigid, oblong Ciuciu bag (840 euros) – all modeled by Jenner.
It made for a tight merchandising assortment online, but a somewhat charmless experience in person, especially compared with the highly atmospheric spectacles he has staged in the past, which capitalized on his native region of Provence and passion for art and ceramics – not to mention the charismatic persona at the center of it all.
This season, the sunny Jacquemus who opened a pop-up flower shop during lockdown was in hiding.