CEDRIC JACQUEMYN FW14 29PARIS, Jan 16, 2014/ — A graduate of the prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Cedric Jacquemyn decided to launch his own menswear line after completing his studies, presenting his first collection in Paris in 2011. Rich in layers, meanings and contradictions, his clothes reconcile ancestral narratives with urban references, achieving a delicate balance between timelessness and innovation.

This season, Jacquemyn finds inspiration in loose threads, unfinished stories that demand a second take. Playing with illusion and unexpected effects, he pursues his research on textures and contrasts, combining the rough with the soft, the pared-down with the intricate. Focusing on natural fibers -such as yak, alpaca, leather and linen- the Belgian designer goes back to the primitive notion of clothing as shelter, wrapping men into his soft and protective garments.

Reconnecting with our roots and the essence of clothing, he offers a spiritual and transient vision. Using tree bark on several pieces -an ancient weaving technique hailing from Uganda- Jacquemyn gets even closer to the organic nature of his work, pushing flux instead of stasis.

Imperfection adds depth to the line, as well as a certain fragility. An open knit unravels in front of our eyes, while irregular fringing adorns a woolen jacket. Rope yarns have a slightly tribal feel, mixing different threads to create new pairings.

They are used in a dramatic cover-up, a hybrid of shawl and cardigan. Black sheepskin is wild and beast-like, bringing out a sense of darkness and determination. It appears sheared on an impeccably tailored coat, featuring a funnel neck and asymmetrical fastening. A pair of fuzzy knit leggings evokes the skin of an animal. Thick leather resembles rubber, exploring the tension between real and man-made.

Introducing denim for the first time, Jacquemyn uses coating to give it a lived-in feel, simplifying details to the bare minimum. His jackets and coats are sleek and minimal, with hidden buttons and high necks, echoing monastic gestures. Shoulders and backs seem rounder and more generous, while shirts are longer and loose.

Pants feature a drop waist, while keeping a slim leg. Jewelry also appears within the line, in the form of thin black horn and copper bracelets. Accessories include scarves, beanie hats and a pair of sturdy leather boots, developed with Belgian designer Mats Rombaut.

Philippe Pourhashemi

Photos courtesy of Cedric Jacquemyn