History has been updated as Jacquemus held an unforgettable show for its Fall 2023 collection, entitled ‘Le Chou Chou’. Versailles is a place that has fashion within its history. On November 28, 1973, The Battle of Versailles Fashion Show took place. This was in hopes of raising money to restore the Palace of Versailles. It has also been home to various royals who have influenced fashion in indescribable ways.
Attending the show is one of the event’s biggest hurdles. Guests took to the show in a series of rustic white boats docked against the 400-metre-long runway that lined the Grand Canal. They watched the show from their boats as the models gracefully travelled down the long red carpet set against the backdrop of the Palace of Versailles. Meanwhile, some of the world’s most recognisable models, including Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner, zipped around on golf carts to get across the expansive grounds.
The collection tapped into the regal theme of the show’s location with pannier-inspired silhouettes and ruffled skirts. This emulated the extravagance associated with one of the palace’s most famous residents, Marie Antoinette. Her influence on this collection was more subtle than, say, Moschino’s Fall-Winter 2020 show. However, it was still very much there. The exposed underwear that was a common feature in the collection featured padded or pleated hips, reminiscent of the exaggerated panniers popular in Europe throughout the 18th century.
The collection also played with Marie Antoinette’s love of ballet. This was done with some ballet-inspired looks, particularly tutu-esque skirts and the introduction of their heeled ballet shoe.
Jacquemus and Princess Diana
The collection drew great inspiration from Princess Diana. This was seen most prominently in the incorporation of elaborate puff sleeves throughout the collection. This was a style favoured by the late Lady Di throughout the 80s.
Princess Diana’s references did not end there, with her famous ‘revenge dress’ inspiring various aspects of the collection. Kendall Jenner and other models wore necklaces inspired by the sapphire and pearl necklace that Princess Diana wore on that day, along with various other occasions.
The accessories set the scene for a collection heavily inspired by the late royal. Ruched dresses and extravagant sleeves paid tribute to Diana’s style and this historic moment. Look 11 felt eerily reminiscent of the look, blending a bridal theme with the ‘revenge dress’, a look born out of the context of divorce.
While nods were made to historic royalty, homage was also paid to fashion royalty. Petticoats and ‘mini-crinis’ appeared to honour the legacy of the late Vivienne Westwood. She famously reworked the Victorian crinoline into a miniskirt for her 1985 Spring/Summer collection aptly entitled ‘Mini-Crini’. This subtle nod not only accentuates the importance of fashion history within current collections, as Jacquemus reworked Westwood’s reworking, but also highlights Vivienne Westwood’s lasting legacy in the fashion industry.
The collection was not only regal but also romantic. The delicate lace, red and white colour palette, and bridal silhouettes created a collection that found its roots in romance. It makes perfect sense when combined with Jacquemus’ personal history with the location. Jacquemus shared that he and his now husband went to Versailles for their first date. Now, almost a year after their wedding, we can see the nuptials’ influence on the French designer’s work.
This is one of my favourite Jacquemus collections to date. I loved that it was imbued with historical references but felt fresh and unique. It didn’t feel like a collection of costumes or gimmicky, and each look still felt unapologetically Jacquemus. My favourite part was that the references were there. Still, they were being reworked and re-imagined in Jacquemus’ style. This made it feel like the collection was made for the lovers of fashion history who would find excitement in piecing together the puzzle of this show’s inspiration and the underlying themes that tied them all together.
Amelia Gregory is Junior Fashion Lead for SSEDITORIAL. She writes on everything from sustainability to runway. She is our lead contributor for red carpet reviews, so keep an eye out for her latest 'Best Dressed' list. Find her on Instagram: @milly_gregory