Simon Porte Jacquemus knows how to put on a show. His Spring 2020 presentation, set amongst a field of lavender flowers in the South of France, is proof of that. But his latest production, while not quite as over-the-top as the last, had an air about it that seemed bigger and more important than any of the previous ones.
On Friday, the French designer presented his co-ed Winter 2020/21 collection for a limited group of fashion elite during Men’s Fashion Week in Paris. Unlike his other shows, which have been praised for their bold and extravagant sets, this one was stripped clean, with off-white floors and dark walls acting as the sole backdrop for the collection, which he named “Année 97.”
“I was 7 the day I cut a skirt for my mum out of a linen curtain. Here is the collection L’année 97,” the designer wrote in an Instagram caption. L’année 97, which translates to The Year '97, pays homage to Jacquemus’ beginnings, most notably, the simplicity of his first designs. Look number one from the show, which features a linen skirt not far off from the one he designed for his mother, acts as a reminder of how he got his start in design. The classic fabric goes on to play a star role in the remainder of the collection.
As for the clothing itself, Jacquemus returned to his southern roots, creating simple, beautiful clothing for the people. He even made a point to cut the prices, with many pieces, dresses included, selling for around 500 euros, rather than his usual 700 to 1,000+ euro price range. On the women, you’ll find fuzzy bloomers; subtle, yet sexy dresses; over-the-knee boots paired with micro shorts; and bright pops of colour. The men’s looks included everything from ombre denim to linen puffer coats to exposed boxers.
And a Jacquemus collection wouldn’t be complete without a handbag moment. This season, the designer introduced a record number of new bag silhouettes, from surprisingly normal-sized tote bags to wicker versions of his ubiquitous Le Chiquito mini bags. Cross bodies, belt bags, and harness-style bags were also scattered throughout.
But if watching Bella and Gigi Hadid (both going completely au naturale) strut down the runway in near-matching linen midi dresses wasn’t enough to get the Internet riled up, the collection also introduced a sustainability aspect. After ten years of working with one fabric manufacturer, Jacquemus finally decided to push them to create a sustainable fabric for him. “They didn’t have a sustainable fabric that we wanted. Now, they do — because of the size of the order I can make,” Vogue reported. “It isn’t just for ecologie, [though,] it’s also people — their rhythm of work also has to have sense. I don’t say I’m a green brand or anything like that; it’s not marketing. But I think we have to think more like my grandparents did: like, we have tomatoes in the garden, so we eat tomatoes.”