Roberto Menichetti claimed he was "mixing the bourgeois and the modern" with his latest designs, and he was so pleased with the result he called it his "truest collection yet." Given that claim, it was not a surprise to see echoes of his heyday at Jil Sander in the nineties. The resulting minimalism with a menswear tinge was certainly preferable to the odd monumentalism that has plagued this designer's collections in the recent past, and there was a trim, commonsensical appeal to a navy duffel dress, a navy trench dress, or a winter-white coat dress, cinched in with toggled belts or thin straps.
The felted wool Menichetti used for yet another coat dress, this one in gray, could have been a Sander fabric. In fact, the depth of fabric research was generally reminiscent of his old boss. The silvery sheen of a quilted jacket was achieved by veiling white silk satin with carbon mesh. The striping on a winter-white felt skirt was created by pulling the dark shade through from the fabric's reverse (a tricky technique called "agugliera"). A demure plum-color frock was covered by a black overlay of diamond-shape cutouts (the designer called it his "new lace").
In the end, though, this manipulation of intriguing fabrics suggested the collection would be better appreciated up close in a showroom, without the conceptual window dressing Menichetti is so partial to come showtime (e.g., today's distracting soundtrack, which was designed to duplicate the sensation of taking a break in a bird-filled garden, while somewhere in the distance, a noisy nightclub thumps ).