January 14, 2013 Milan
Today, he cast himself as Genghis Kean, and there was a pleasingly barbaric undercurrent running through the collection. You could picture a Mongol yurt piled high with cushions made from the fabrics he used for coats and jackets. Even an oversize checked mohair coat had a fierce edge (though that might have been down to the model who was wearing it). There was an odd moment in the show when a candy-striped velvet coat and jacket appeared. They looked so much like "old" Etro that they felt out of place, until you realized that everything flows, the Himalayas connect with Northern Europe, shapes and patterns repeat. "We're living in a time of transition," Kean told us in his show notes. The Mayan prophecy wasn't about apocalypse, it was about change.
Quite how you attach those convictions to a suit cut from jersey knit is up to you. The easiness of such an outfit is certainly attractive. But Kean's grander designs—the gilded brocades and jacquards, the golden orange panne velvet kimono, the jacket in a shimmering tiger print, the clotted collages of rococo swirls and animalism (the nose of a big cat floats by in a Life of Pi moment)—are truer to the joyous essence of the Etro man, dreaming his opium dreams in his bohemian heaven.