we just reached peak microbag at jacquemus
As Simon Porte Jacquemus shared his obsessions and presented sun-kissed streetstyle, he pushed the tiny bag trend to its teeny-tiniest limits.
For his autumn/winter 19 show, Jacquemus transformed an industrial warehouse located in the outskirts of Paris into a film set summer escape where his sun-kissed women brought drama to everyday reality. Now, it’s ordinarily hard enough to not see Karl Lagerfeld’s influence during Paris Fashion Week (and beyond), but given his passing last week, we’ll surely notice it even more. Although not in the his preferred Grand Palais location, this set could have been one of Karl Lagerfeld’s shows. Here, whether intentionally or not, Jacquemus was continuing the great master’s tradition. In that provocative Numéro interview from last year in which Karl insulted just about everyone in the industry, one of the few complimentary words he uttered were about Jacquemus: “He makes me laugh… and is rather pretty too.” Had the Kaiser watched this show, he’d probably be smiling and swooning. This show was all about reality as fantasy, fantasy and reality. And those teeny-tiny Le Saq Chiquito would bring a smile to even the most jaded of fashion souls.
"I don't just do clothes, I write a story and then come the clothes," Simon Porte Jacquemus explained to i-D back in 2014. It's a design process that has propelled this self-taught Provençal-born talent from staging guerrilla presentations to winning the Special Jury LVMH Prize and becoming one of Paris’s hottest (and most successful) talents, with 230+ stockists worldwide. While each seasonal chapter focuses on different characters, the story could always be read as a love letter to fun, freedom, sunshine and sex. For autumn/winter 19, he shifted the narrative away from the sensuality of the previous season as he shared more of his obsessions. “Our last show was about sensuality and the south of France but I’m not only that,” he explained post-show. This was a reaction to the unfair criticism that his creations lacked substance. “I wanted to return to the art and our more conceptual beginning and balance them with something still sensual yet wearable. The starting point was bringing together all of my loves, so I actually listed them down,” he added. From this, a sun-bleached collage of Pierre Jeanneret chairs, Gae Aulenti architecture, French cinema and the work of Eric Rohmer and Jacques Tati, swimming pools, family portraits and almonds emerged.
Entitled La Collectionneuse (The Collector), this was a collection about objects of desire, rediscovered first loves and must-haves. Against the market street backdrop, there was a definite sense that Jacquemus was grounding his fashion fantasies in everyday reality. “Of course, what I show is what I sell, it’s already selling,” he explained. This was streetstyle, Jacquemus style. He elevated the everyday through his playful use of volume, colour, luxe textiles and techniques that encouraged the Jacquemus woman to style garments in her own way. With office-ready trouser suits and button-downs to outdoors-inspired utilitywear, this was the fullest Jacquemus wardrobe to date. “The new dress for me is the suit,” he noted before flashing his trademark grin. “I’ve made so many dresses, I wanted to do something more masculine.”
“I’ve been copied a lot by the fast fashion brands, so I wanted to take a step back," he further explained when asked about the absence of high-impact drama. He has moved away from the oversized accessories of seasons past and fully embraced the micro-bag trend he has pioneered in recent seasons. Following the launch of his tiny Le Vanity Micro and even teenier Le Saq Chiquito which is already on-sale and selling out fast, he shared an even smaller version of the latter. The teenier than palm-sized incarnation was sent to fashion editors as invitations to the show before being carried in forefinger and thumb down the catwalk too. Whether you find them impractical or irresistible, we can all agree that small can make a big impact. But given they could only hold your AirPods and pack of mints, surely Jacquemus can’t push the microbag to even more miniscule proportions, could he?!