Showing its collection outside of fashion month’s schedule, the latest Jacquemus show saw the brand head to Oahu, Hawai’i. With a collection entitled ‘LE SPLASH’, the show promised minimal set design to lessen the impact on the environment, and pledged not to fly anyone out from further than the United States. Guests and models were instead locally cast, and watched the show which took place on one of Hawai’i’s picturesque beaches. As promised, there was only a retractable ‘runway’ atop the sand, and the collection itself featured natural neutrals and signature Jacquemus’ silhouettes.
Explaining to Vogue that the choice to show in Hawai’i was solidified after the brand’s campaign was shot there last year, Simon Porte Jacquemus noted that “For our first show staged outside of France, I wanted to explore unexpected locations. Hawaii stood out for its dreamy and inspiring landscapes with incredible mountains, beaches, and sea.” He may have got more than he bargained for, though, with a torrential downpour soaking the garments and models just before they were set to walk, and since the show’s location choice has been received with some backlash for bringing a whole set of people to Hawai’i whilst the state’s residents have been actively asking tourists not to visit throughout the pandemic.
Whilst this is the first luxury house to offer a far-flung show (aside from Gucci in the slightly less remote Hollywood) recently, since COVID stopped travels, the brand is no stranger to putting on a spectacle. Much like Demna’s creative vision often extends more readily to the show concept itself, Jacquemus favours location, setting and crafting an experience to exhibit its latest collections. The brand creates a new world to encapsulate, progress, and underwrite the concepts of each line – then translating it to a global stage.
For SS21, Jacquemus went full vintage Theresa May and took to a wheat field to exhibit its collection. Found an hour outside of Paris, the runway was a 600m long, snaking wooden path that cut through the knee-high crops growing all around. Visually, it was a match made in heaven for the neutral linens and soft construction that Jacquemus continues to deliver.
A year earlier, Jacquemus staged a show that has consistently made the ‘prettiest runway show’ lists which occupy a niche corner of the internet. Set in a romantic lavender field in Provence, not far from the childhood home of the French designer, models walked a 500m hot pink catwalk in celebration of the brand’s 10th anniversary. Aptly named “Le Coup De Soleil” – the French phrase for “sunburn” – the collection and show catapulted Jacquemus’ brand identity further into the mainstream, and no doubt inspired the following seasons’ presentations.
Alongside their stunning location, perhaps what makes these shows so visually appealing is their accompanying show video – often filmed from a bird’s eye point of view, and thus able to portray the vast scale of Jacquemus’ presentations. Whilst we have a lot of time for an intense, strobey-tech, indoor fashion show (if done well), Jacquemus’ presentations feel like a literal breath of fresh air in the fashion space, showing its clothes where one could imagine they were made to be worn: out in the wild, immersed in nature, and somewhere at sunset in rural France.
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See also: DISSECTING DEMNA