5 posts tagged "Au Jour Le Jour"
Last June, the Camera Nazionale della Mode Italiana held a very serious press conference to address the very serious issue of Milan’s waning fashion week. Gildo Zegna told a room of journalists that he had heard MFW described as “boring.” That’s somewhat unsurprising, given the city’s lack of new energy and fresh perspective. The heavy hitters on hand vowed to make changes, and though the audience of international journalists was skeptical, there are some signs that the issues are being addressed. An early draft of the Spring ’15 MFW schedule has begun circulating, and it seems there’s been a bit of a designer shuffle. According to WWD, a strong focus has been put on Italy’s emerging talents. Stella Jean and Andrea Incontri, for instance, will show right before Gucci on September 17, and Au Jour Le Jour (above) and MSGM will show on September 21, the same day as Marni and Salvatore Ferragamo. Perhaps the thinking is that the press won’t skip the newbies if they’re sandwiched between the major houses—and the move matches up with Camera CEO Jane Reeve’s goal to help Italian up-and-comers build their businesses internationally. Giorgio Armani, too, has been a staunch supporter of youngsters, allowing one lucky designer to show in his Armani Teatro free of charge each season. (Angelos Bratis is his Spring ’15 pick.) It would be nice, as our editor in chief suggested last year, to see Milan drawing new designers from around the globe to MFW—that would really spice things up—but helping homegrown talents is a start.
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A jumper covered in sequined Siamese kittens? Count me in. Au Jour Le Jour nailed my crazy cat lady aesthetic to a tee (or in this case, a dress). And with it shipping at the end of September, I’ll have something shiny and new to come home to after the Spring ’15 collections in Europe. I’ll likely lose the knee sox and heels, and pair it with simple flats for a more sophisticated—and less schoolgirl—vibe.
Au Jour Le Jour sequined crepe dress, $2,205, Buy it now
Yesterday afternoon, emerging Milan-based brand Au Jour Le Jour transformed Florence’s old customs office on Via Valfonda into a club-age iteration of a primary school classroom. Showgoers sat at red, yellow, blue, or green desks instead of perching on benches (which made it incredibly easy to take notes, for the record) and the back staircase was lined with glowing neon lights. It was the perfect backdrop for designers Mirko Fontana and Diego Marquez’s debut menswear collection, dubbed #backtoschool. The duo, who last season won the support of Armani and presented their womenswear lineup at Milan’s Armani Teatro, turned out a Spring ’15 range imbued with playful, kooky kitsch.
“I found my old notebook from primary school, and we decided to give this mood to the collection with embroidery and prints,” explained Marquez backstage. “But we also tried to show strong tailoring. It was really important for us to make something fun but sophisticated.” Prints comprising rhinoceroses, red apples, yellow school buses, pencils, glue bottles, and lions were scattered across cotton shorts, short-sleeve button-downs, skirts, and dresses. (The designers showed a smattering of womenswear, too.) These motifs, along with pink unicorns and orange lions, were repeated elsewhere in sequins. Also on offer were preppy pastel knits paired with the shortest of short shorts for him and high-waisted boy shorts for her, as well as leather handbags that took the form of the abovementioned animals. Striped soccer socks and bright-hued sandals completed each irreverent look. The clothes were a good bit of fun—and well-made fun, at that, incorporating double cotton, paillette, quilted nylon, and a selection of couture fabrics for suits. That being said, those cheeky short shorts, or the women’s cropped sweaters, would surely be a recipe for detention.
Giorgio Armani has announced today that Christian Pellizzari is the next designer he will sponsor to show at Armani Teatro in Milan come September. Pellizzari is an alum of the Vionnet team and launched his eponymous menswear line in 2011, adding a women’s range for Spring ’14. This move speaks to Armani’s faith in (and continued efforts to reinvigorate) Milan fashion week: the Teatro Armani blessing has brought the attention of the press to other young designers, such as Haitian-Italian Stella Jean, who showed her barnstorming debut in the Tadao Ando-designed space last year; Andrea Pompilio; Au Jour Le Jour; and Julian Zigerli.
In English, “Au Jour Le Jour” means “From Day to Day,” but trust us, there’s nothing mundane about the emerging Milan brand. Giorgio Armani lent designers Mirko Fontana and Diego Marquez his Armani Teatro for their show this weekend (they inherited the spot up-and-comer Stella Jean occupied last season), and their Fall collection was as colorful and cheeky as Armani’s was gray and sober. Cat and dog embroideries, a print of open lips and jeweled braces, mod sixties coats in bright patent leather and faux fur. It was the kind of stuff made for the Instagram generation, a demographic they’ve been targeting since the beginning. Au Jour Le Jour’s website is packed with photos of street-style personalities wearing their clothes. Armani himself took notice. “Au Jour Le Jour [has been] able to promote itself, above all, through social networks,” he said in a release. But ask Fontana and Marquez and they’ll tell you, the runway’s still the thing. “The show hosted by Giorgio Armani came as the biggest chance ever to synthesize and convey our vision.” To capitalize on the opportunity, they gave away pins printed with the puppies and kittens on their clothes.