4 posts tagged "Andrea Pompilio"
Continuing his effort to provide some much needed support to Italy’s up-and-coming designers, Giorgio Armani has announced today that he will invite emerging talent Stella Jean to show her Spring ’14 collection at Teatro Armani during Milan fashion week. “The new generation of Italian designers needs our support,” offered Mr. Armani. “It is for this reason that I continue to make my theater on Via Bergognone available to them.”
Armani began inviting young labels to present in his space during the Spring ’14 menswear season, asking Andrea Pompilio to be his first rising star. Jean—a native Roman with a Haitian background—often uses her Creole heritage as a point of reference for vibrant ready-to-wear. A former model, she earned second place in Alta Roma’s Who Is On Next competition in 2011.
At 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana held a press conference at which attendance had been all but mandated weeks in advance. The early, un-Italian hour was no doubt meant to indicate the seriousness of the occasion, as was a lineup of speakers that included Patrizio Bertelli, Diego Della Valle, and Gildo Zegna, all of whom have joined the organization’s new board. Essentially, these captains of one of Italy’s most important and cherished industries have banded together to reinvigorate Milan’s increasingly hidebound fashion weeks. “I’ve heard the word boring,” Zegna acknowledged, though he insisted that wasn’t the case. The speeches were heavy on sweeping statements and light on concrete details, which provoked the assembly of sleep-deprived journalists into a volley of probing questions. Bertelli had earlier compared his fellow board members to “senators of fashion,” and he might have been thinking, Et tu, Suzy? as the International New York Times‘ Suzy Menkes led a round of interrogation into everything from Milan’s inhospitality to young designers to its perceived shortcomings on the digital front. Bertelli is no pushover, and he gave as good as he got. When a French journalist asked why we were only hearing from old men (Angela Missoni was a mostly silent presence on the board today), the Prada CEO told him he’d be a dangerous old man himself if he didn’t change his attitude, and then unexpectedly pointed out that Italy was the first country to abolish slavery, in the 1300s. By the end, one attendee was muttering, “Business as usual,” but if the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, then today’s announcement should be welcomed as a positive development. Certainly there is enough firepower and entrepreneurial know-how on this new board to solve world peace, let alone bring new energy to a fashion week. Zegna stressed that the process would be a dialogue and said suggestions would be encouraged. In that spirit, here are seven modest proposals for improving Milan fashion week.
1. Lure young, international designers to Milan.
Menkes wondered how Milan would be replacing Burberry and Alexander McQueen, two brands that have recently decamped back to their native London. But the city’s relatively uncrowded schedule could be one of its biggest assets. Given how ridiculously packed the New York and, increasingly, London and Paris schedules have become, you would think any number of hot young brands could be persuaded to believe that they’d have a better chance of standing out in Milan. If access to Italy’s unparalleled production expertise were thrown in as part of the deal, who could resist?
2. Take the show on the road.
The British Fashion Council and, to some extent, the U.S.-based CFDA have done a good job of promoting their designers abroad. As part of the London Showrooms events, a dozen young U.K. talents have even careened around Hong Kong together on a bus. While there are barely enough young Milan-based designers to fill a Smart car let alone a minibus, and its more established designers are already well known internationally, it shouldn’t be too hard to come up with the right kind of touring exhibition. Picture a mix of up-and-comers such as Umit Benan, Andrea Pompilio, and Fausto Puglisi; some cult brands like MP Massimo Piombo and Aspesi; and a couple of designer offshoots like Versace’s Versus line and Lapo Elkann’s highly covetable new made-to-measure collaboration with Gucci—all introduced by a charming, high-profile figure (yes, we’re talking to you, Lapo). That would go some way to showing the rest of the world the extent of Italy’s ambitions. Continue Reading “Seven Suggestions For Improving Milan Fashion Week” »
From J.W. Anderson‘s tube tops and frilled shorts (above right) to Meadham Kirchhoff‘s tunics and skirts to Sibling‘s fluffy cotton-candy-pink shorts, London’s up-and-coming designers put some extreme feminine twists on their Fall ’13 menswear collections. But while men (who aren’t Marc Jacobs or Andrej Pejic, that is) may be a little hesitant to jump on the gender-bending bandwagon, it would seem that women are, once again, craving an androgynous edge. The proof? Due to popular demand, menswear designers are creating looks tailored just for the ladies. For instance, as deputy editor Matthew Schneier reported from Pitti Uomo yesterday, Andrea Pompilio sent out nine cross-dressing girls (above left) before allowing his male models to walk the Fall runway. “They ask so many times for very petite sizes for women, so why not do it?” he said after the show. Over in London, E. Tautz‘s Patrick Grant was feeling the same pressure. “We just started a very small line of women’s shirts, which kicked off at the request of one of the stores in Japan—who came to our men’s show and asked if they could have small versions of our men’s shirts,” Grant told British Vogue, hinting that a full-on Savile Row-inspired womenswear range might be in his future (the shirt capsule will be available at Matches.com this spring). Of course, shes dressed like hes isn’t a revolutionary trend (Le Smoking, anyone?), but the overlap of his and hers styles in the men’s collections certainly has our attention. So, are designers pushing us to become a bunch of sexless style-ites? Hardly. But if you’re tempted to walk in the other gender’s shoes, Fall ’13′s menswear will more than afford you the opportunity.
The economic news from Italy, Pitti Immagine’s ambassadors admitted at a diplomatic lunch mission today, is not good. But they contend they have every reason to be sanguine. The biannual Pitti trade fairs—menswear Pitti Uomo, womenswear Pitti W, children’s Pitti Bimbi, and the textile fair Pitti Filati—draw a more international crowd season after season; for the 83rd fair, to be held January 8-11 of next year, a full 40 percent of the vendors are international.
The big news so far has been the invited guests: Kenzo, which will present the Fall ’13 menswear collection, and Maison Kitsuné, which will stage its first ever show for women’s pre-collection. At lunch, Kenzo designer Humberto Leon and Carol Lim (left) professed their gratitude for the Pitti invitation, even if accepting it means their hectic international schedules, overseeing Kenzo and Opening Ceremony, became that much more hectic. (Leon estimated that he is now on a plane once every five days, with key stops in Florence, Tokyo, Paris, and L.A.) But in their way, Leon and Lim are shaking up the Pitti orthodoxies: They are, Pitti CEO Raffaello Napoleone said with a gasp, showing during the afternoon instead of the usual evening spot.
Kenzo and Kitsuné both hit a sweet spot a hair below the usual designer price point, which is likely no coincidence. “Smart casual is doing well,” Pitti Chairman Gaetano Marzotto announced in his opening remarks, calling out a bright spot in the market. (And adding, to a mostly tie-less crowd, “Like you are dressed now—you in particular.”) But the main-stage designers won’t be the only ones showing at Pitti. Among the other debuts will be Adidas SLVR, G-Star (which will show its latest collection created in collaboration with industrial designer Marc Newson), the returning Pitti veteran Andrea Pompilio, and the adored Japanese line White Mountaineering.