It is 1997. France has yet to win the World Cup and Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element has just been released in cinemas, the iPod doesn’t exist and there is no real TV or social media. That year, when Simon Porte Jacquemus was just seven years old, he made his first ever garment for his mother, a skirt fashioned from a linen curtain. This early creation is now the main theme of his fall-winter 2020 collection, soberly entitled, “L'Année 97” [The Year 1997], made up of 63 seemingly pared back silhouettes in natural materials and 50 shades of beige. In 1997, while Laetitia Casta had yet to become the superstar of the catwalks or a respected actress, she already embodied a French ideal of beauty with her unruly features. Invited a few months ago by Jacquemus to wear his new collection, the model marked her return to the runway that day after a ten year absence.
Now inseparable, the duo formed by Simon Porte Jacquemus and Laetitia Casta is back with a series of edgy photographs that revive a slew of 1990s cliches. With French manicured nails and polka straight hair, a fresh face and direct gaze, Laetitia Casta dances with her Discman, games on a PlayStation, makes phone calls with her Nokia 3310, when she’s not playing with a yo-yo, driving a candy pink car or eating a Mister Freeze. It seems that the 1990s have caught the imaginations of numerous designers and artists, as Simon Porte Jacquemus plunges us into an era through his kitschy images that seems light years away from the one we live in today, with nostalgia and humour.