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Jacquemus SS20 2
Gael Sillère – ENSP, ArlesCourtesy of Jacquemus

Four students captured Jacquemus’s joyous, lavender-filled Provence show

In celebration of ten years of the vibrant, sexy Parisian label, Simon Porte Jacquemus invited a group of local students to document his SS20 Le Coup de Soleil anniversary extravaganza

Though it feels more like ten minutes since Simon Porte Jacquemus first landed on the fashion scene, this season, his namesake label hits double figures: Jacquemus is ten! 

Making his debut in 2009, the designer has spent the last decade infusing fashion with flashes of blue skies, glittering sea, and a whole lot of sunshine with his joyous collections and equally joyous outlook on life. From getting the fashion set out of Paris and giving them a glimpse of the good life in Provence – just take that time he threw a public fashion show to celebrate the launch of his project Marseille J’Taime, or debuted his first ever menswear offering, Le Gadjo, on an idyllic beach at dusk – to creating the most brilliantly ridiculous items that everyone ends up dying to get their hands on – the enormous straw hats! Those miniscule, meme-able bags! – Jacquemus has been a breath of fresh air in an industry that sometimes takes itself just a little too seriously.

Naturally, with ten years at the helm of the sexy, playful, humorous label under his belt, this season’s SS20 show was a cause for celebration – and by now, it’s likely you’ll have seen the photographs, since they basically took over the ‘gram on Monday night. In a field blooming with row upon row of brilliantly-hued lavender, Jacquemus’s boys and girls made their way down a mile-long, fuchsia runway in pieces that have come to epitomise his aesthetic: think bold but sun-bleached prints, too-big tailoring, and, of course, plenty of his uniquely sculptural sandals, kooky sunglasses, and wildly-covetable bags. 

It wasn’t just the amateur iPhone-snappers of the front row that captured the evening’s proceedings though. Jacquemus also enlisted a small group of students – made up of two photographers and two illustrators – who are studying at schools and colleges in the area (as well as one from London) to document what went down, without any interference from the designer himself. When he saw them afterwards, he was blown away by the images: “I loved them! It was so inspiring to see what they had to say and see the collection through their eyes,” he explains. “It was nice also to see something other than pictures – the drawings reminded me of Matisse and Picasso, my favourite artists.”

Here, in celebration of a decade of what Jacquemus sums up as being full of ‘poetry, freedom, and love’, we present the specially commissioned artwork and photographs and get to know the students behind them. And keep scrolling, as there’s also an exclusive film by Bureau Future, the creative agency that captured everything else on the night.

All that’s left to say is Bon Anniversaire, Jacquemus, and here’s to the next ten.

THILDA CRAQUELIN, ILLUSTRATOR (BEAUX ARTS DE MARSEILLE)

When I first started studying, I was doing textile design because I thought I’d work in the fashion industry, but then I realised I wanted to draw and paint more than anything – it feels like a more natural way to express myself. Before I was chosen to work on this, I knew Jacquemus had a big love for Marseille, the sun, and the sea, and I think we have the same passion for colours, textures, and finding joy in what we do. 

I’ve never been to a fashion show before, and I’m so glad that Le Coup de Soleil was my first one. Going backstage was a big rush and being almost alone with the collection, scanning the entire looks, was like a little girl’s dream. When it came to what he wanted me to capture on the day, I was actually very free – but I know being in this ocean of lavender crossed by a pink catwalk was to Simon, so I really wanted to transcribe that. My favourite image, though, is the hand holding a lemon. Looking at it, I imagine myself watching the Jacquemus show from my window, surrounded by blue flowers on my wall and a purple ocean under me, eating a frozen lemon while the sun slowly goes down – bare feet on my fresh pink terracotta tiles, the typical summer atmosphere that I love. 

@thildacraquelin

JOE GAMBLE, ILLUSTRATOR (ROYAL DRAWING SCHOOL, LONDON)

I’ve always made things: drawings, or home movies, or music – art just became the one that slowly started to dominate my time, but I can’t pinpoint exactly when it was that I knew I wanted to be an artist. I guess it’s like swimming in a way. No one can remember the first time they entered the water, than all of a sudden you’ve just swam 400m butterfly. It’s really bad, but before I was invited to work on this show, I didn’t know anything about Jacquemus. My girlfriend did, though, and she was very annoyed when she realised I couldn’t go out and actually be there on the night (so was I when I saw how incredible it looked). 

Instead, I worked from home with photographs that were sent to me. Simon told me he wanted more of a reportage of the show, rather than the show itself. He wanted my work to give off a sense of actually being there. Coincidentally, in my studio work, I’ve been using a lot of pink, similar to that in the runway show, and I approach drawing very instinctively, so the bright openness and colour of this collection worked really well with my own way of working. I wanted to convey a sense of fleetingness in the images. The movement of a fashion show is quick and I wanted to evoke the sensation of an immediate memory being formed despite seeing something very momentarily. 

@joeegamble

GAËL SILLÈRE, PHOTOGRAPHER (ARLES PHOTOGRAPHY SCHOOL)

I studied fine art in Toulouse and discovered photography there, then came to Arles from where I’ve just graduated. I discovered Jacquemus about a year ago when a friend sent me his Instagram. She said to me “I’m sure you’re going to love it!” and since then, I often consult his creations. I love what he’s doing and how he’s succeeded in taking Southern French aesthetics and bringing them to a Couture level. I grew up with this same kind of dolce vita lifestyle, where the sea and the swimming pool are never too far. 

Before this, I’d never been to a fashion show, but it was absolutely amazing: from the lavender, to the backstage, to the cooperation of the models, to the show itself, of course! Simon gave us total freedom about what we captured and I thank him and the production team for that. My main focus was seizing moments behind the scenes, but also actively playing with different set-ups. I think my favourite image is of Ryan and Soulemane, the two guys together in the lavender field, because of the narrative in it: these two topless guys who seem lost in these flowers, waiting for something we don’t know. They’re seized in a blank moment, during the summer heat, between the blue sky and the endless green horizon.

@gael_sillere

CLÉMENCE ELMAN, PHOTOGRAPHER (ARLES PHOTOGRAPHY SCHOOL)

I started photography about four years ago, at the end of my studies in political science. I bought an analog camera and I started to learn it by myself. The body of the photographer is always engaged in something when taking pictures, and since I can be shy and sometimes withdrawn, photography is the medium which best allows me to express what I want to say. I have to confront that shyness, because if you stay too far away from your subject, whether it’s a person, a landscape, or an object, you will not be able to capture what you want to. 

I didn’t know Jacquemus’s work very well before the show, because I’m not very aware of fashion in general - although it does interest me. What I had seen, I liked. The colours and the pieces are incredible, especially when you see them up close. It was an incredible experience to walk around the place where the show was being held, and it was easy to talk with the models and other photographers working for different fashion magazines, seeing how they work. The question of beauty and its definition are things that have always interested me in my work, and I like that there is always a little strange dimension to my photos, which intrigues or creates tension, and that I tell stories through them. For Simon’s show, there was a real desire to link the collection and the natural environment to convey the atmosphere of the South of France, where he grew up, which added an assumed sentimental dimension to the event. It’s something I understand and find quite touching.

@clemenceelman