Waves were the acoustic background as people filed into Cité de la Mode for the Jacquemus show. A flotsam and jetsam of buoys and overturned white parasols were sprawled around like some post-Labor Day seashore apocalypse. The runway was primed for splashy moments.
When the show began, the sound of water gave way to French crooning, but the seaside illusion continued: the hair was damply styled, as though sea-soaked and then lightly desiccated by summer sun. The first looks were weirdo half-breeds: half-shirt/half-bikini. Hanging-off-the-shoulder tops and hanging-off-the-hip skirts didn’t clothe the body so much slouch up against it.
Then a series of pieces reminiscent of hospital whites: cotton skirts and scrubs, medical and antiseptic. The whites were soon amplified by caricatures: socks with sunshines on the ankle, a Bugs Bunny-sized carrot on a croptop. Then there were aprons, sanatorium white yet waitress short, worn with widely-cuffed pinstriped shirts. To cap off the collection, a pageant of thick stripes: in white-and-pink, white-and-yellow, white-and-blue… capricious and jubilant and oh so coastal, like quite literally dressing up in a beach chair.
Jacquemus displayed his usual odd proportions that feel playful one minute and absurdist the next. There were his signature oversized pockets, round slices of fabric asymmetrically placed. All the looks included white socks and white shell-toed Adidas.
For the finale, the models did a lap as a group, cheering and skipping; namesake designer Simon Porte Jacquemus, sporting an all-white look from his Comme des Garçons button-down to his Adidas kicks, followed the girls for a second lap, the group of them Baywatch by way of Marseille, striped and stylish for a new kind of coastal allure.