Free Spirits and #FreeTheNipple at Jacquemus’ Paris Fashion Week Show

Features. Posted 3 years ago

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Image: Jacquemus autumn winter 2015-16 at Paris Fashion Week

The location of Jacquemus’ autumn winter 2015 Paris Fashion Week presentation is currently undergoing renovations, which is kind of perfect, as it reinforces the deconstructed construction that Simon Porte Jacquemus is quickly becoming synonymous with.

At the tender age of 25, the designer is already a semi-finalist for the prestigious LVMH Young Designer Prize – a major feat considering how new he is to the industry. It’s more impressive still that he’s never completed any formal design training and is largely self-taught.

All of this helps to explains his left-of-field, maverick approach to design and construction. In fact, it’s Jacquemus’ commercially aware conceptualism that makes his clothing as powerful as it is.

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Image: Jacquemus autumn winter 2015-16 collection at Paris Fashion Week

Jacquemus’ avant-garde approach calls to mind the design genius of Rei Kawakubo, which makes sense when you consider he worked in a Comme des Garcons store until recently. It’s a stylish anti-traditionalism that’s so often absent from the inherent classicism at Paris Fashion Week.

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Image: Jacquemus autumn winter 2015-16 collection at Paris Fashion Week

The designer explained that he revisited his childhood for autumn winter 2015-16, and it’s definitely the rawness in the collection that stands out (as well as you know, those casual paper face masks).

So Jacquemus’ fascination with deconstruction continues, and this season it’s married to surrealism. Models strode out shoeless or topless (or both), while some were faceless (the aforementioned masks) and others were (literally) two-faced, thanks to the designer’s collaboration with Berlin-based artist Sebastian Bieniek for makeup. This unusual feature served to turn models into abstract works of art on the catwalk. There’s also that genius reach-around print, which partially covered otherwise bare chests in a very tongue-in-cheek way.

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Image: Jacquemus’ autumn winter 2015-16 collection at Paris Fashion Week

The toplessness served his adolescent theme, too – there was something innocent, rather than sexual, about it. It was the most impressive display of freeing the nipple we have seen so far this season, causing many Instagram accounts to be barred as a result. But that’s just so Jacquemus; his carefree disregard for institutional convention is the most endearing aspect about his approach. Backstage, the designer noted that, “Being topless is something that’s not accepted in our society but in Africa, it’s totally normal. I was obsessed with this kind of African element – but there’s nothing ethnic in the collection. It’s just their attitude and their freedom”.

The Jacquemus girl is a free spirit – she’s wearing (or not wearing, as the case may be) the clothing, rather than the other way around. She’s intellectual, opinionated and fiercely individual. In other words, Simon Porte Jacquemus understands the modern woman and, importantly, he is from the same generation — another aspect that’s quite rare amongst the designers who show at Paris Fashion Week.

Jacquemus stepped out at the end of his show to take a bow with bare feet as well, child-like and in total solidarity with his cool-girl model tribe. This a designer that’s going places, and we’re looking forward to watching his career unfold.

Images via Style.com and Pinterest

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1) Fashion’s New Feminism at Milan Fashion Week

2) Why Prada’s Milan Fashion Week Presentation Challenges Beauty Standards

3) Here Are Our Favourite Collections From London Fashion Week

4) Here Are the Next Big Designers from London Fashion Week

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