Dear Shaded Viewers & Diane,
JACQUEMUS’s summer parade had already started before his last show at Le Calanque de Sormiou’s beach enclave in Marseille, FR. The sculpted men on the sandy runway did not differ so much from the local bodies plunging in and out the transparent waters. The softly tanned skin colors and naturally shaped bodies foreshadowed the salubrious environment in which Simon Porte Jacquemus discovered his patterns of beauty. In just a blink of the eye, I realized that joy at the seaside goes beyond carotene: it’s all about aquatic movement and living a life full of health!
Waiting for the JACQUEMUS’s Romance Provençale Spring 2019 Menswear show was a contemplative pleasure– seated on deep, blue towels overlooking the sea was an almost meditative experience. The show ended with a gorgeous sunset in the backdrop and the evening continued with dining and dancing at the small harbor nearby. A long queue for rice with langouste de Méditerranée transformed the show into a summer celebration, the air perfumed by surrounding conifers.
Playing with autonomy in design and with a sensuality most iconic designers often forget when it comes to menswear, JACQUEMUS stands apart from the rest of Paris as an independent designer rather than an industry controlling powerhouse. Beginning by indicating that there was no red flag on the beach was a promising and safe start– let’s leave it to him to evolve!
The anticipation was tangible, and after Look Four’s white five-pockets (anticipated here) passed a strong message had already fulfilled all expectations: JACQUEMUS was remaining loyal to the female side of his DNA by debuting a new man far different from his established major girl. That Bermuda shorts were combined with white, cotton shirts and crocheted ties illustrated how “LE GADJO” boys party on the sand: tranquille. The same relaxation felt by the guests, seated as though at a yoga retreat, was visible in all thirty-four looks. The intention of look thirteen, for example, with the marine-white polkadot 5cm brief, was not to become the next famous sex symbol. The intention was, rather, was to share with us the intense relationship to the sea, including a comfortable chunky, knitted hoodie produced in collaboration with the Woolmark Company for the cooler evenings.
Does this commercial strategy satisfy plural retailers? Yes. Department stores or multi-brand concept spaces have both found their favorite product assortment. From the all natural ice cream kiosk located by the entrance offering all different types of popsicles, (raspberry to crunchy chocolate to cucumber, matching the color of the fabrics seen throughout the show) to the controversial straw hat from look number two, there is no doubting the ideas are rooted, just like JACQUEMUS himself, in traditional Provence.