Vacations are brilliant. Everybody knows it. Ah, the follies of youth: hardcore drinking, foam parties and multiple snogs. You lose your passport. You forget to hydrate. Someone unlucky gets sunstroke, someone unluckier gets crabs. When you get older you approach changes. It’s more about unplugging than partying. Long days at the beach and evenings revolving around dinner. There’s a lean towards an ice cold martini over a jägerbomb. The north coast of Ibiza, darling, not Ibiza town. As always Jacquemus’s collection took us away from the hedonistic summers of our youth—a vacation from those vacations if you will—as we travelled with him again to his visceral southern France.
And so to the great French divide. North and South. The North is the essence of decorum, clean lines and reverence. The northern look is always exacting, whether that’s high-end or low (hello Dior, hello the Beatniks). The South’s glamour is less rigid, with it’s promise of a good time and a headache in the morning. Hailing from the southern Mediterranean coastline, Jacquemus’s SS18 show was distinctly more cacti than Calais, more Marseilles than Montmartre.
“We had big, big hats. The hats were gargantuan. Straw renderings of the eclipse Trump stared at. Hats beyond reason. Unapologetic hats. They lent an air of extreme 50s beach glamour”
Designer Simon Porte Jacquemus drew inspiration from his mother – nicknamed “La Bombe” – saying “I don’t think I ever saw my mother more beautiful than on evenings after the beach and probably when she was in love”. This post-beach child’s view of adult romance was the beating heart of the show. Each look was a summer holiday without the annoyance of sunburn or mosquitoes. We were all invited to sundowners at the harbour, with women draped in the extravagant shapes of Monaco, but in muted, approachable tones. Standout in their subtlety of colour. France’s countrywide sense-of-occasion dressing prevailed, but we’re three drinks in. The dresses were part-sarong, part-cossie, part-time lover. A linen swimsuit-slash-evening-dress encapsulated beachwear off the beach. The collection was distinctly adult in its influence but the look was anything but mumsy, with a nod to the hyper-sensual and sexual: mini dresses verged on transparent and were the miniest minis I’ve ever seen.
In contrast, we had big, big hats. The hats were gargantuan. Straw renderings of the eclipse Trump stared at. Hats beyond reason. Unapologetic hats. They lent an air of extreme 50s beach glamour. The kind of hat a screen starlet wears to hide her face and dually make sure she gets noticed. Like the headwear, the Jacquemus SS18 woman is highly visible but mysterious. She’s always on your Instagram feed but doesn't have an account. She moves in your circles but she’s just out of reach. Call her. Leave a message. Good luck.