After spending eight enthralling days in this city, known as the capital of men’s apparel, as well as in Florence, this was the term that came to mind. Did some unknown power come along and erase all of the lame tales, recycled inspirations, and derivative references that have been prevalent in the most recent seasons? Suddenly, everything became clear and concentrated, much like early Hemingway when he had mastered the Gertrude Stein style. Designers who had been working for decades on tales that were as schticky as the plot of an airport novel (we’re looking at you, Dolce & Gabbana) discovered urgency and a new approach in a tight trim. Even if the demands of a more industrialised luxury goods industry require designers to repeat themselves, it must be liberating to not have to rewrite the same paragraph every season.
What should one do? You may take inspiration from Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino, who recently debuted his first collection of men’s clothing in three years. The assortment of 56 different styles was exquisitely proportioned, but that is to be expected from such a meticulous fashion designer. The boxy jackets were worn with shorts underneath them. Shirts with a loose collar were worn with slim ties to complete the look. Paillette blooms were used as an embellishment on shirts in the form of guayaberas. There were phantom boiler suits and ethereal overcoats floating around. It is not a coincidence that the key design gesture was the designer’s decision to emblazon parts of the clothing and several of the accessories with text. This decision was made by the designer. The phrases that he used were taken from the best-selling novel
“A Little Life” written by Hanya Yanagihara in 2015. This book was published in 2015 and is filled with self-harm, childhood trauma, emotional mortification, and rape. (At now, Ms. Yanagihara serves as the editor-in-chief of T Magazine.) Mr. Piccioli skipped over the more gothic aspects of the story and instead settled on a phrase that revitalised him and made him feel buoyant: “We are so old we have become young again.” This decision was reached for reasons that have not been disclosed.
If the phrases had been removed from their context and printed on items such as jeans, outerwear, and leather briefcases, they might have taken on an air of gimmickry, becoming the material for refrigerator magnets. Instead, you received the impression that the concept genuinely impacted Mr. Piccioli, who stated in a post on his Instagram account after the presentation that he wished to regain “the enchant and the eyes I had when I was dreaming to make this job.” The Valentino collection can be understood as a form of transparency that approached the level of a confession. Mr. Piccioli’s tale began with design; it did not begin with red carpet theatrics or with a dominance of the global commercial market. He has an interest in going back to that.
Most likely, the entirety of the sector would. Miuccia Prada was quoted as saying, “Now, in this time, we need to inject fantasy, ideas,” shortly after the conclusion of her show on Sunday. It was not really evident what made this moment distinct from any other, with the possible exception of the impending danger posed by artificial intelligence. The intellectualised play that she is known for was present in plenty in the Prada collection, which had both fanciful and practical elements. To begin, there was a set that was constructed out of floor panels made of industrial steel plate. Onto these floor panels, a substance that resembled oobleck poured down from the ceiling.
Pretty robots could be seen parading behind the slime-covered drapes, each one decked out in a fitted jacket with oversized shoulders, high-waisted shorts, or ballooning pants. The silhouettes of hourglasses brought to mind constructivist dolls. Ms. Prada and Raf Simons, who is her co-creative director, mentioned the exaggeratedly macho proportions of men’s suiting from the 1940s as one reference point in their collection. However, going back that far was not even close to being necessary. In the late 1980s, practically all of Claude Montana’s men’s wear collections included proportions that were identical to those described above.
The two designers added a riff on those pneumatic period shapes by layering them with brightly coloured utility vests, alternating the shorts with roomy jeans of the sort worn by the teenage speed freaks in Larry Clark’s classic photobook “Tulsa,” or else turning out commercially irresistible fringed floral shirts that would make anyone the hit of the Kiwanis bowling league. Both of these elements contributed to the overall look. he stealth-wealth set, the garments were composed of fabrics such as doeskin or paper-thin suede. They were made of woollens that were whisper-light and finely spun cotton.
Fendi, spring 2024Credit…Fendi
When a species is given the status of endangered, it is almost certainly too late for it to be saved, as this is one of the most important rules in the field of conservation. It is possible to say almost the same thing about experienced craftspeople, and the fact that Silvia Venturini Fendi knew this undoubtedly played a role in her decision to stage her show at a brand-new Fendi plant in Bagno a Ripoli, a Tuscan hamlet located approximately 30 minutes outside of Florence. Before the event began, the about 400 guests who had been driven or bused into the countryside were given the opportunity to roam through a fully staffed factory as workers in white jackets pantomimed the process of cutting flawless calf skin with a laser machine, sewing, and stitching peekaboo bag In a brightly lit industrial space, one can see employees dressed in white tunics working at their assigned stations.
The luxury that Ms. Fendi creates is not the subdued sort. Neither of these designs ever made it into production for the Purple Label line by Ralph Lauren. After taking a break of four years from showing in Milan, the Lauren design team set up their presentation at Mr. Lauren’s private palazzo. There, guests such as Chris Pine and Damson Idris gawked at a rare Jaguar XK120 that was parked in the forecourt, sipped Champagne (or sparkling water in the case of Mr. Pine), and drifted among the potted palms. Although the collection was divided into three sections, each of which was solidly constructed within Mr. Lauren’s Gatsby language (a fitted denim suit was the outlier), one passage that was particularly rewarding was the roomful of formal garments in the boisterous hues of a macaw.