“I think the Jacquemus woman is not French—she is a sunny person," explains Simon Porte Jacquemus ahead of his first collection debut outside of France. It's a sensibility that's landed the designer's Spring 2022 show 'Le Splash' at the foothills of the Ko'olau mountain range in Hawai'i.
It was fashion served plein air, a spectacle we've come to expect from Jacquemus. The runway was a cobalt strip along the water's edge, tucked away on the crystalline shore of Moli’i Gardens beach in Oahu. And just as the models were set to walk, the unpredictability of the outdoors was felt. Rain—and bucket loads of it—fell for just over an hour. Clothes were drenched and soiled, (you could never tell) but spirits remained high, and some of the locals even called it a good omen—a blessing.
As the models readied themselves again, for real this time, a proper Hawaiian blessing was performed acknowledging the land on which all stood and giving thanks. Aside from the location's immediate beauty, it was this element of the show that was most moving. Especially as many criticised the decision to hold a fashion show in Hawai'i in the first place, given its colonial history at the hands of Europeans. But with the help of Hawaiian stylist Ben Perreira and creative director Taylor Okata, Simon Porte used this as an opportunity to honour Hawaiian communities.
Every model cast hailed from the South Pacific and the production team comprised entirely of Hawaiian locals. A select handful of Jacquemus staff from Europe journeyed to the island, while the guests in attendance like SZA, Jennie from BLACKPINK and Bretman Rock came from either the US or the Pacific. It was a production as mindfully executed as the clothes, speaking to Jacquemus' integrity as a designer. And the clothes, well where do we start?
Colour—and lots of it—was a continual theme. Beginning first with sandy tailoring that scooped around the waist like a sarong, and a linen suit to live in. We also spied a mid-length skirt assembled from opalescent shards of what looked like seaglass. Seaweed green and baby blue filtered through next, with knitted tanks, deconstructed wetsuits, suit jackets with the double zipper of surf gear and cropped cargo pants. Then came an array of looks in peach sorbet, lemon, orange, flamingo pink and inky black. Knit dresses, blazers, cargo shorts, and at one point hot pink overalls were beaded in collaboration with artist Tanya Lyons.
Meanwhile the styling urged you to get creative. Bikini tops were weaved between the buttons of shirts to a half-layered effect. A single turquoise evening glove or a solo hoop earring rounded out a look. Bags were bulky and slung low across the body. A half-moon shaped handbag made an appearance, as did a thick strapped baguette bag and rucksack. As if to prank us, a pool floatie and scuba snorkel found there way in as well.
If the brief was Le Splash then Jacquemus went and did it, but the clothes are only half the story.
Watch the Jacquemus Spring 2022 show, below.
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