Young designers come around so infrequently in Milan that when one does emerge, it's cause for celebration. Even better is when they arrive with credentials in hand, like Alexis Martial, the newly installed creative director at Iceberg, who worked under Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy for five years. The Frenchman's new role at this Italian label should go some way to raising the relevance of the brand, which has lacked a strong point of view. "I wanted to turn the page," he said backstage, going on to explain his story line for Spring: "It's a Boy Scout on a dreamed visit to Tokyo."
Well, that's different. But Martial balanced the quirk with good business sense. Having witnessed the phenomenon firsthand at Givenchy, he made sure to include his own versions of the designer sweatshirt. Martial's riffs on the item were influenced by manga and decorated with Japanese letters, or printed with an iceberg. Why hasn't anyone here thought of that before? Beyond the clever sweatshirts, there was an emphasis on uniform and a strong preference for high-tech fabrics. We could take or leave the newfangled plasticky knits with the chest patches, like you might see on a Scout aboard the Starship Enterprise. But there were interesting things going on toward the end with straightforward tanks and tees encircled by iridescent acetate bands, which Martial showed with nicely cut rolled-hem pants. Definitely one to watch.