Big Bags Are the New Big Hats at Jacquemus

Plus, Dior’s dancers and Gucci’s party people at day one of Paris Fashion Week

Paris fashion week opened yesterday with three very different propositions: Christian Dior’s ethereal modern dancers, Jacquemus’ sensual beach-goers, and Gucci’s Le Palace party people.

At Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri lured guests to the 16th arrondissement for a show that included a conceptual dance performance choreographed by Sharon Eyal. It’s no surprise, then, that the collection was rife with dance motifs, from ballet slippers to sheer, fluid skirts, gowns, and dresses worn over athletic, sometimes fishnet bodysuits. The lineup sometimes veered into art teacher or hippie territory, but there was a lovely, free femininity in the jersey gowns and jumpsuits whose draping recalled that of Madame Grès and Vionnet.

Over at the Italian Embassy, Simon Porte Jacquemus continued his pursuit of a flirty, carefree beach dweller. While last spring the designer imagined a bombshell in the South of France, this time around he conjured a woman living it up on the Italian Riviera. His giant hats (the ones you saw in every magazine and that clicked like crazy on Instagram) were replaced with even more giant raffia bags, and his models stomped a white runway in the Embassy’s sun-drenched garden while wearing clingy, gauze-knit gowns, flouncy, breast-bearing dresses, and the shortest of shorts. An expertly tailored white linen suit, a blazer-cum-mini-dress (part of an ongoing collaboration with Woolmark), and a handful of smart trenches harkened back to Jacquemus’ earlier, more sculptural collections. The sexed-up bella donna is a fun trip, but these more substantial pieces are what stood out.

Later in the evening, Gucci’s Alessandro Michele took over iconic ’70s Paris nightclub Le Palace, where he once again showed everything one could imagine and then a little bit more. Sequins, shimmering fringe, a live bird or two, flying-pig brooches, and a codpiece were just a few of the elements featured in Michele’s predictably maximalist outing. Weaving through a maze-like runway to eventually reach a stage, the retro-styled models looked terribly somber, which was curious, because with their glitz and glam and eccentricities, Michele’s ever-outré ensembles seem made for a raucous good time.

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