Having taken Brioni young, artistic director Jason Basmajian is now
taking Brioni colorful. Color was the big story for Spring at Brioni as,
indeed, it's been one of the big stories so far this season. If it
sparks more at the Italian suit house than at some others, that may be
because it's a notable change in course. There was scarcely a gray or
navy item to be seen. Basmajian piled on reds, ochers, teals, and
purples at the outdoor presentation he staged at Milan's design museum,
La Triennale. The inspiration was Slim Aarons, the unofficial official
photographer of "attractive people in attractive places doing attractive
things," as the lensman himself once put it. Each individual tableau at
the presentation—a game of pétanque, a picnic on the grass,
guys perched on Vespas, and so on—would've been a subject worthy
of the master.
It wasn't just that the designer cut his unlined jacket in cherry red.
It was that he showed it with a bathing suit, too. Model Arthur Kulkov
was cycling around in a dinner jacket of deep plum. Several models were
wearing specs from Brioni's new sunglasses collection (optical to come),
and several had on sneakers, too. Even where the past was referenced, as
in a lapel-less wool crepe hopsack cardigan jacket based on a piece from
the sixties, it was slimmed and shaped to forestall fustiness.
Brioni's far from the only heritage label looking to sell to youth. But
according to brand reps, its boldest items are moving from stores with
its older and younger customers alike. That's reassuring, for fans as
well as for PPR, the luxury conglomerate, which finalized its
acquisition of the line at the beginning of this year.