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The "splash" of Jacquemus in Hawaii

The most Jacquemus-ian show ever?

The splash of Jacquemus in Hawaii The most Jacquemus-ian show ever?

A long wooden boardwalk spanning the sands of Moli'i Gardens, north of Ohau. The sun setting into the Pacific, the palm trees, the absolute, seraphic stillness. Jacquemus's show in Hawaii, of which the audience followed the unfolding almost in real time (including a sudden downpour that created a delay but also allowed the various guests and models to take many striking photos for Instagram) was, in keeping with its official name, a real le splash. The show was, in effect, a spin-off of sorts from the campaign shot for Jacquemus by Tom Kneller on the island but was also strongly desired by Simon Porte Jacquemus «who has long wished to visit the islands». Before the actual show, at least from the hemisphere of the world we're in, word came of its incredible beach after party, photos of which were shared in a Vogue reportage in all their Jacquemus-ian glory. Also before seeing the actual collection, the audience also saw the eclectic list of personalities invited, for reasons of geographical distance and sustainability, from the South Pacific and the United States and that included SZA, Jennie Kim of Blackpink, Amine, Nicole Scherzinger, Daniel Caesar, Don Toliver as well as Hawaii celebrities like Evan Mock, Bretman Rock, Mahina Florence and Ha'a Keaulana. 

Even though it was a French brand's show, the Hawaiian element was very strong: apart from the show setting, stylist Ben Perreira and creative director Taylor Okata, both originally from the archipelago, contributed to the setting up of the show while the vast majority of the models were Hawaiian - with only a few European staff members and the designer himself present on site for reasons of sustainability as well as respect for the culture. The strong presence of Hawaiian elements, however, did not result in superficial references to the culture of the place such as the famous floral prints, but in an elaboration on the visual theme of water that touched as much the works of David Hockney as the diving equipment. Canadian artist Tanya Lyons, on the other hand, collaborated on the outfits with glass appliqués that emulated as many drops of water - but beach imagery (sarongs, flip-flops, armrests and inflatable elements, life jackets, mattresses) was the real protagonist of the collection - which can be seen piece by piece on the brand's website. In a rather enlightened way, among other things, the brand asked its guests not to use smartphones and to immerse themselves in the moment, thus underlining the value of the overall experience of the show set in that scenario and moving away from the sad practice of fashion weeks in which the shows in front of you are watched through the screen of your phone. 

Having arrived at this point in its life, being an established brand, Jacquemus has gathered admirers and detractors in equal measure. And this show has shown how by now, in fashion, there are increasingly deep rifts between a disengaged and escapist fashion and a committed and missionary one, between an avant-garde and "difficult" fashion and a wearable and "easy" one. Those who pretend that fashion can only be one thing, who judge ethics and intentions before clothes, and who, in evaluating a collection, hastily dismiss its products by comparing them to those of controversial brands of much lower quality, could perhaps get off their high horse and abandon their somewhat blasé attitude, which there is really no need for in the world today. Fashion is not just politics, nor is it engagement - fashion can also be a trip to the beach, the story of a journey, the remote atmosphere of an archipelago of mythological beauty. It's all part of the narrative of a fashion brand - which is not a non-profit charity (although the brand has shared multiple links dedicated to donations for the war in Ukraine), nor a cultural institution required to pontificate about the world and society. Luxury clothes and accessories are merely voluptuary, don't forget that. And so escapism is welcome. Intellectualism, after all, is the poison of art.