- Text Liam Hess
- Photography Sara Cimino
- 21st January 2019
It was Simon Porte Jacquemus’ second menswear for his eponymous label this season, and where last time he invited editors and stylists for a lazy afternoon at the beach near his hometown of Marseille, this time he was up bright and early with a breakfast show. Quite literally: the invites were accompanied by a loaf of bread wrapped in a white tea towel, an appropriate touch for the collections theme of ‘Le Meunier’, or ‘The Miller’.
Given the lead-up, you might be expecting a very French, pastoral fantasia, in the vein of his SS17 ‘Les Santons de Provence’ collection. Not so. As with last season, Jacquemus is establishing his menswear client as something very much distinct from his previous work: there was a very grounded sense of practicality in his riffs on workwear that feels diametrically opposite to the flights of fancy he regularly embarks on for his womenswear shows. Held inside the Palais de Tokyo, attendees were served bread, cheese and croissants, and without a seating plan, models simply snaked through the audience. This was a stylish uniform for today’s blue collar worker rather than the local miller of a romanticised French fairy tale.
It was also – as has become custom with Jacquemus’ shows – a tip of the hat to an often overlooked corner of French life, very firmly positioned outside of the city of Paris, even if the show itself was not. Where previously he looked to the knock-about youths of Marseille, here he turned to something more mature and dignified: farmers and rural labourers who work in and around the mountains of Montpellier, which explains the heavy emphasis on practicality. It showed once again Jacquemus’ knack for blending his inherent playfulness with clothes real people want to wear: there’s often scepticism around the notion of authenticity in fashion, but Jacquemus wide-eyed wonder has it in spades.