What Jacquemus’ Anniversary Show in Capri Tells About the Brand’s Future

A full-circle moment in plain sight. The 15th anniversary show that Jacquemus staged in Capri — which drew an elite group of guests led by Gwyneth Paltrow, Dua Lipa and model-of-the-day Jennie Kim under the boiling Mediterranean sun — was a demonstration of fashion force mixed with foreseeable emotion and a dash of novelty for founder Simon Porte Jacquemus.

It could have been a showy event or one drenched in nostalgia given the milestone, yet with its more intimate dimension, it struck the ideal balance between the designer’s signature cinematic staging, VIP list and fashion quotient, which built on the more upscale direction Jacquemus is taking and pointed the way forward for the brand. Much like the arrow shape of the venue, which — let’s be honest — could have made the show worth it alone.

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Securing the modernist Italian villa Casa Malaparte — an architectural marvel closed to most, sitting on a clifftop of one of the world’s prettiest islands — was a great way to cement Jacquemus’ credibility and place him next to luxury brands that have tried to stage runway events there in the past. It was a matter of authenticity, too: Jacquemus chose the red building in tribute to one of his favorite movies, “Le Mépris” (“Contempt”) by Jean-Luc Godard, whose aesthetics inspired the designer’s fashion vision 15 years ago.

Meeting press ahead of the show in the former studio of Curzio Malaparte himself, Jacquemus recalled the emotion of being invited to dinner by the family of the late journalist, writer and diplomat after years of dreaming to see the residence inside. “I was afraid when I arrived at the house because beauty can be very dangerous, you don’t want to play with it in a way, because you love something so much that it is so pure,” he said.

This is also why his initial idea of creating a “very couture show” for the anniversary turned into a smaller gathering out of respect for the location. “I didn’t want to do a show, I wanted to do a collection on the house. And [the family said] no one ever proposed that. They said ‘no’ to many people because they don’t want to use the house just as a show venue.”

The flashiest nod to the building was a print inspired by the tiled flooring of its interior, but it was the charming palette of vibrant sky blue, red, shades of yellow and bright sage and the overarching graphic approach to the lineup that eventually stood out. Jacquemus wanted to embrace a “Mediterranean vibe in a very pure way” as he is increasingly deep diving into minimal silhouettes and veering toward more upscale fabrics — like leather and suede — to telegraph a focus on craftsmanship and overall brand elevation.

The show opened with a tribute to Brigitte Bardot’s character in the Godard movie via a fuzzy canary yellow coat mimicking a toweling robe and closed with Jennie Kim providing the Instagram buzz of the day by modeling a black dress with a full skirt and revealing back.

In between, the see-now-buy-now fall 2024 collection alternated the structured textures and sharp lines of dresses and coats with ample portrait collars, A-line skirts and stiff frocks with flounced tops, sheer mousseline long skirts and the fluid draping of sensual jersey dresses cut out in the back or on the sides to reveal legs, thigh bones and more.

An occasional zebra pattern popped up on coats and pencil skirts, telegraphing a more bourgeois vibe, while in menswear the same print heightened the slightly more playful spirit Jacquemus embraced via mariniere motifs and below-the-knee pleated pants. (Yet the designer’s own go-to choice would be look 36, with its cropped jacket and streamlined pants that give him a “‘90s Armani vibe — and I love Mr. Armani so much.”)

Pinned to the Jacquemus mood board, images of Capri’s queen of style Jackie Kennedy further pointed to an ease of dressing that doen’t compromise on glamour. “With her capri pants and sailor blouses, I found her so refreshing, I needed to look back at simplicity,” said Jacquemus. A few images to the right, a portrait of Paltrow popped up “because today who would be that kind of woman? I think it’s really Gwyneth,” he said of the actress.

Following in the footsteps of the likes of Julia Roberts and Kristin Davis, who were at the brand’s “Les Sculptures” show in January, it’s clear Paltrow’s attendance mirrors the more mature audience Jacquemus is welcoming into its world. The designer confirmed the previous show marked a big shift sales-wise too, as the company never sold as much ready-to-wear as it did with the spring 2024 collection.

“Now we’re finally embracing the luxury customer. It’s what I want and it will take time,” said Jacquemus. “It’s been 15 years but I’m still a teenager brand. I’m so aware that I have so much craftsmanship to acknowledge… I’m so respectful of the savoir-faire all around [luxury] but I’m working hard.

“When I was younger I was just trying to do a new thing, now I’m thinking of the brand’s longevity,” he continued, pointing to recently becoming a father as a factor further sparking his long-term vision. “But I don’t want to become like other [brands] either, I want to keep who we are, keep the honesty… My proudest moment of the past 15 years was to be able to grow and be very aware of what are my forces. I know exactly what I’m doing. Now I want people to understand that I work for the long term and not for a good check, that’s not my priority,” he concluded.

Launch Gallery: Jacquemus Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection

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