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Under a shower of raffia with Jacquemus

How the brand's SS23 show held yesterday in Paris went

Under a shower of raffia with Jacquemus How the brand's SS23 show held yesterday in Paris went

There are two types of Jacquemus shows: the scenic ones and the conceptual ones. The scenic ones are usually set in exotic locations, such as Hawaiian beaches, lavender fields in Provence, the salt expanses of the Camargue, and create correspondences between the looks on the runway and the landscape; the conceptual ones are usually held in Paris, and rather than exploiting the surrounding scenery they tend to conjure a specific environment, moment or feeling through tiny details that become totalizing: the metaphysical white clearing in FW20, the mountain evoked through colors and geometric shapes in FW21, and the show held yesterday in Paris for the SS23 collection and titled Le Raphia. The show notes speak of the end of summer, of sensory fragments such as the midday sun shining behind a curtain, raffia falling dreamly like snow - all details that are magnified and sublimated in the show's venue: a circular curtain around which the front row is arranged, a dazzling light that on the finale turns red like a sunset, and the aforementioned raffia rain, which tells and enucleates the visual and material theme of the collection while also creating a surreal moment

Raffia is indeed the absolute star of a very Jacquemus-sian collection that mixes some haute couture suggestions together with references to Jane Birkin and Martin Margiela. Precisely on the subject of couture tradition, this collection marked a shift in the brand's construction techniques: beyond a reinterpretation of the brand's famous giant hat (itself a citation as much to Brigitte Bardot and French couture collections such as Jean de Castelbajac's SS91 couture and Dior's SS92 designed by Ferrè) there were raffia blazers and dresses, but above all an entirely woven vest and shorts outfit that will be the delight of influencers during the upcoming summer fashion week. The creators of all these designs were the petite mains of Maison Lesage, one of the most revered couture ateliers in Paris, specializing in the most intricate embroidery, open since 1929 and associated with Chanel Métier d'Arts for the past 20 years. Elsewhere, reconstructed jeans covered with a silver patina, jeans with cargo pockets and exposed zippers, Capri pants, underwear with psychedelic prints emerging beyond the waistline, miniskirts and the occasional whale tail evoke the Y2K aesthetic by incorporating it into the rest of the Jacquemus DNA.

Beyond advancements and reinterpretations of the language that the designer from Provence has developed over time (we can now consider him a permanent presence on the independent scene in Paris), this collection certainly tried to intercept a theme that we think will become dominant in the fashion discourse of 2023 and that is that of craftsmanship. What the brand defines in its notes «contemporary craft» and what it puts on the runway is a manifestation of a renewed focus on what is handmade as being more authentic, of more obvious and quantifiable value. It should be added, by the way, that along with Dior's last week, this show also put some emphasis on the idea of natural fiber, luxurious because it is raw and therefore tactile, different from the uniform fabric of more industrialized productions. If at Dior's there were linen and wicker baskets as a citation to the Egyptians as well as an innovative and natural material, here at Jacquemus raffia performs a similar function but loaded with more sentimental overtones. Either way, however, it will serve to keep this show in mind when, in the future, we see more and more innovative use of natural fibers and a new insistence on craftsmanship - two things Jacquemus has always been known to love.