Claire Stemen
Claire Stemen
Claire Stemen likes to think and write about fashion as a vital form of communication. She loves clothing and the way we style ourselves, despite always buying the same black turtleneck over and over again. You can find her on Instagram @claire_stemen, or or at

Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner: Stage Direction at Jourden Paris Spring ’16 Show

Dance Deconstructed at Jourden FW16


(Photos: Claire Stemen)

Jourden’s FW show may have well as been at the Opéra, for it was a dance.

The runway, smaller than most, covered in colorful lines and directions piqued my interest the minute I walked in (and not, surprisingly, so did the free drinks thanks to Epicerie Generale.) Immediately, stage direction came to mind, but as the music began to play, I didn’t have time to think on it.

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Nor did I need to, as the first model delicately traversed a red pathway to a white circle, where she stood at the mercy of the photographers. Meanwhile, more models began to appear, on different pathways, some stopping in other circles, some picking up or dropping off other models.

More models began to appear, some picking up or dropping off other models.

The music, sweet and dreamlike, matched well with the looks arriving in a stream of movement down the runway — if I may reduce it to such simple terms. Skirts and dresses, almost like well-used quilts, capped off glimmering tops.

At first glance, the pieces appear sweet and almost uncomplicated, a tempting assumption especially under the spell of the aesthetic of the show. A closer look reveals the complexity behind the collection: intriguing textile choices, unsymmetrical cuts, and a ruffled trim disconnected from where it ought to be. Under all of that charming appeal, something is amiss and suddenly, I realize the music has changed to a deafening bass.

A closer look reveals the complexity behind the collection.

I suppose the age-old caveat of judging something at face value keeps renewing its lease on truth.

But I was still puzzled by the form of the show. Anaïs Jourden Mak, the brand’s designer, spoke of her interest in the motifs of dance floors, hence the lines, arrows, and direction. Looking for ways to experiment in a smaller area with the limited time she had, she worked to create scripted routes for her models to create the sense of fluidity that dance offers.

In her reproduction of dance, Anaïs deconstructs the very art she’s paying homage to, exposing the particulars of its construction on the floor.

And perhaps deconstruction is why certain ruffled trims go — so confidently — unsewn.


With love,


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