Paris is freezing right now. Thermals are being dragged from the bottom of suitcases and Editors are arriving into the city ruddy-faced, blowing into cupped hands. So, it was greatly pleasing to read that Jacquemus was designing for a 'warm winter' for A/W 18. The first of the Paris Womenswear shows this week, Jacquemus' collection was a revisit to warmer climes - a summery affair amidst the -2 degrees.
Entitled 'Le Souk', this show was all in reference to Morocco and the time Jacquemus has spent darting amongst the markets in between shows. Jovial chanting and Moroccan Chaabi music played overhead, as earthen toned shirt dresses with cavernous necklines and belted blazers with a curvaceous hem appeared. This felt a confident continuation of Jacquemus' S/S 18 collection, 'La Bomba', in which giant hats and beautiful girls had wowed the audience and consumer. This time, there were snippets of woollen textures on trim pencil skirts, polo necks and slender long-johns tucked into heels, reminding one that this was a winter collection. A warm winter collection. Warm smiles, warm energy, warm atmosphere. ‘I want to be the everyday sun. I want my clothes and my brand to reflect the spirit of that smile. The grey winter in Paris, it’s very hard, so we needed to have this colour, this energy. So voilà! That’s why we needed Morocco.’ says Jacquemus backstage.
The sculpturally heeled shoes, singular dangly earring and teeny tiny too-small-for-an-iPhone bags were back with great success from last season. Bags were no longer just minute but were beaded or off-shoulder, grand stiff totes or drawstring leather bags worn upon the chest - as if Jacquemus was tailoring to every kind of Souk shopper. Necklines were open and swooping or collared and deep, slits on thighs pooled in a tulip shape. The gathering at the navel, which has become so emblematic of Jacquemus' designs, was divine on knee length dresses. There was a flow to the collection that felt inviting.
Thinking back to Jacquemus’ older collections, it used to seem as though the models were used as mannequins, as a backdrop for sculptural surreal shapes, but recent works have seen the model wear the clothes; they look a part of her wardrobe, they both hug and drape the body. Jacquemus is really excelling with his new shape and silhouette. Perhaps it’s a confidence? Perhaps it’s a rhythm he has found? Or, is it love?
Backstage, Jacquemus spoke fondly of finding love over the winter, and as he walked the finale wearing a 'L’Homme Jacquemus' hooded sweatshirt, it seemed that love had been influencing more than just this collection’s shapes. 'When I fall in love I’m going to do Menswear.’ said Jacquemus. ‘It’s going to be someone I can see, someone I can smell, someone I can know everything about. I got that feeling this winter and I was like ok, let’s do it!' A sumptuous show and the promise of menswear to come - a smile-inducing offering if ever there was one.