Photography: Jessica Gwyneth
From the art world to the music scene, “emerging” (occasionally supplemented with the slightly less reviled “up-and-coming”) is one of the most eye roll-inducing terms, but how else does one discuss a label like Afterhomework? Launched in 2014 when designer Pierre Kaczmarek was just 15 years old, its name literally derives from the fact that the line was a post-schoolwork initiative. Despite (or perhaps because of) Kaczmarek’s age, the punky, androgynous styles, typically modeled by men and women alike, have been featured by W and The Cut.
I think we can all agree that showing at Paris Fashion Week prior to celebrating your 18th birthday is an undeniable accomplishment. Some of Kaczmarek’s creations, like a black, ruched top with dramatic, extended sleeves, reveal an independence of thought and a tendency towards the quietly architectural, while others feel more like half-baked riffs on the increasingly played-out oversized streetwear aesthetic. The addition of cropped cowboy boots feels very Vetements, while the vertical, white-on-black block lettering is drawn directly from Hood by Air. Basically, Kaczmarek is nothing if not of his generation.
Meanwhile, Jourden, founded by Anais Jourden Mak in 2012, is a bit more timeless. Sure, there’s an off-the-shoulder top or two, but there’s also a shiny, seafoam green smocked dress that looks like a combination of outer space wear and something a little girl might don to attend church on Easter Sunday. Which is to say it’s awesome. Teamed with very London-in-the-60s lace-up boots in white, gold, and denim or Kardashian-inspired nude sandals, it’s a ladylike look that doesn’t easily reveal its decade of origin.
The most refreshing thing about Jourden is the willingness of the designers to make things that are pretty and traditionally feminine in an era where other up-and-comers (there’s that pesky word again!) are rejecting such things in favor of limited color palettes and recycled androgyny. Jourden isn’t necessarily “cool” or even “model off duty” but the designers aren’t afraid to make a poofy skirt out of glittery green lace, and sometimes, that’s just what the world needs.