An "homage to punk," as Andrea Pompilio described his Spring collection, could go down any number of roads, most of them well traveled. However, happily, his punks were not the mohawked minstrels of eighties London or those of last year's Costume Institute show, but rather the quiet, pensive kind—polite punks, if you will. And he finessed this angle in refreshingly innovative ways.
First, a moment for the pleated shirt hems that dominated the collection with their daring un-tuckedness. Pompilio said they were akin to a "punk's kilt." Sort of a relaxed ruff for the waist, they brought to mind patrician nobility and served to highlight the filial friction at the heart of the designer's menswear. "Think of a noblesse family—for example, the Borgheses," Pompilio stressed, "where a father and son can be in the same room, but the son has his headphones on and the two are actually worlds apart."
To strains of a violin, the collection revealed itself slowly, layer by sensational layer. Each suggestion of formality was blunted by an impudent street statement, creating an alluring hybrid of Ivy League correctness and art-school rebelliousness. Large, randomly placed
holes—or eyelets—were modeled on earlobes stretched and disfigured by piercings, and sweatshirts were embellished with white studs at the collar or clusters of sequins. Horizontal bars were seen throughout, as functional straps or simply as decoration. The sunglasses, too, were a triumph of will, resembling two broken pairs made whole by fusing them together. Harmony at last.