2017 is shaping up to be an uncommonly difficult year, to start there’s the divisive state of the US stoked by the current president. Natural disasters in the form of earthquakes and hurricanes are happening at an unprecedented rate. Terrorism and war remain a constant danger with the added threat of a nuclear confrontation with North Korea. Makes you want to stay in bed with the covers pulled up tight. Without being overdramatic I’m here to say Paris just gave us two reasons to get out of bed and embrace all the beauty that is life, the Jacquemus and Dries Van Noten collections. Ok, I am being dramatic but only to illustrate just how much both shows have renewed my faith in the world and fashion.
Spring 2018 marks Simon Porte Jacquemus’ 11th show and 8th year in business. With this collection he has come into his own and is now a major player. The show was held in the magnificent seventeenth century hôtel paticulier of the Musée Picasso. VIPs in the audience included fashion heavyweight and partner to Valentino, Giancarlo Giammetti. The stage was set for a show of consequence and Jacquemus rose to the occasion brilliantly.
Jacquemus’ earlier work always showed promise and undoubtedly has been influential. He started the current craze for deconstructed asymmetry adopted by many young designers. Complex concepts at times weighed heavily on the early collections, though it established Jacquemus as an original thinker, willing to experiment. For this collection he turned a corner, his experimentation paid off and now he’s refined his ideas resulting in unapologetically sexy, happy and wearable clothes.
Fifties Latin lounge music and models with the natural glow of a day spent at the beach set the mood. The inspiration was an old photo of Jacquemus’ mother, a stylish beauty still remembered in the small south of France village where he grew up, and where she died when he was young. Draping and asymmetry ran throughout the collection in an effortless way that never crossed the line into fraught. Tops and dresses were wrapped, draped and tied as if a single piece of fabric was magically spun around the model and allowed to fall into place naturally. Everything was sexy even the more modest white shirt dresses that women will be clamoring for come spring.
There was a new lightness and optimistic air to Dries Van Noten’s superb spring collection. The pale colors were pretty and muted enough to boldly mix patterns right down to the boots. The abstract prints had a 1930’s feel to them and complimented the large floral scarves draped into dresses and jackets. Thin lines of crystals found their way to shoes, earrings, and belts and even adorned the faces of some models. My favorite look was a printed silk robe with scarf over glen plaid pants with a jeweled strappy heel. Ease comfort and full-on glamour in one package, every look in this collection possessed this quality. Isn’t that the essence of what we all want everyday?
So I will rise each and every morning thanks to Jacquemus and Dries Van Noten, at least until spring.