Suit becomes a bet of the moment and displaces comfortable pieces of the pandemic


The New York Times

The trend of dressing comfortably has not caught on. All those predictions about elastic waists, leggings and low heels, and about the pandemic forever changing the way we dress, have proven not to be so true.

When both Gucci’s Alessandro Michele and Donatella Versace (not to mention Dolce & Gabbana) open their shows in suits — dark, slightly oversized but clean lines — it’s clear something is up. And it’s not the turn toward festive disarray that so many people were anticipating.

This perhaps relates to the fact that the world doesn’t seem like a very comforting place right now. “In the last few weeks, my feeling was that I became more and more serious,” said Walter Chiapponi of Tod’s, who also opened his no-nonsense formal fashion show in a sober women’s suit, worn under a dark overcoat. “I excluded all frivolous things.”

Suits and suits, with their associations to power, status, gender conformity and non-conformity, shielding and protection (not to mention maturity), are clothes that make us feel immediately prepared for the day, and are perhaps the most appropriate attire. for the current moment. They began to resurface on New York’s catwalks in February and now appear to be reaching critical mass.

Suits and the like were the dominant models in the Gucci line, a brand that was returning to Milan’s catwalks after a two-year absence, with a show held in front of distorting mirrors and lit by strobe lights. From this dissonance, jackets in navy blue, sky blue and chocolate emerged, sets with tuxedo lapels and leather trim. Suits covered in gleaming spurs. Models accompanied by thin ties, large bags and eccentric accessories. A suit or suit for every personality!

There were so many suits, or suit-adjacent styles (which in some cases involved shorts and blazers rather than jackets) that the shows felt like menswear events. Of the 84 looks that Gucci showed off, only 10 involved skirts, dresses or, in one case, a lace bodice. And that was the point.

Seven years ago, even before being appointed as the brand’s official stylist, Michele held his first show for Gucci, turning the brand’s image upside down – and with it, to some extent, fashion – by filling a show. of conventionally feminine items, such as blouses, pastels, bows and transparencies, and start a dialogue about genders that persists today.

But while the trend is to focus attention on the context of men seen wearing what used to be seen as women’s fashion, suits are at the root of it all, and women have appropriated them for decades in their climb to independence and power (another dialogue that is not over yet). With her new show, Michele was simply reminding everyone of that fact.

Deliberately, the only thing as present as the suit’s influence at the show – aside from the excited buzz about the presence of ASAP Rocky and heavily pregnant Rihanna in the front row of the crowd – was the collaboration between Gucci and Adidas. The German sportswear brand has become a favorite fashion contributor outside the fashion world (among its partners are Prada, Rick Owens, Stella McCartney, Missoni and, first and foremost, Yohji Yamamoto, among many others), and Michele declared in a press conference after the show that has been obsessed with Adidas since he was a kid.

But instead of making the Gucci classics sportier, the designer turned the game around and formalized the sporty pieces, adding Adidas’ signature three white stripes to the top of a corset, using the brand’s logo embroidered on the pockets of blazers. , incorporating it into prints, and decorating suitcases with an oversized version of it.

It was as clear a message and as shrewd as any we’ve seen, as to which form of dress was really over the top.


It’s probably no coincidence that Ennio Capasa, the Costume National stylist who rose to fame with the slim black suits he created for the label before leaving eight years ago, has chosen the current season for his comeback with a new label called cover. Or that the line included a signature update of him as a stylist, the tailoring is accurate, albeit now with less rigidity.

There is a reason, after all, that suits have lasted so long in the first place. (We’re not talking here about the rediscovery of an old style by a generation obsessed with “vintage”; if we disregard the tech boys, in most corridors of power, suits and suits never really went out of style.)

One reason is that this is a classic style, as Luke and Lucie Meier showed in their show for Jil Sander, scattering assorted Greek and Roman statues in the show space to better frame the sculptural look of their wool miniskirt suits. and sleeveless dress-coats with a hemline below the knees and a bow at the throat. There is a Zen balance in their work, between the minimalism of the lines and the tactile aspect of the materials (as well as really desirable accessories): their models speak softly, but their impact is noisy.

When it comes to power dynamics, though, there are few designers more attuned than Versace. After all, she invited Julia Fox, who knows something about dominance, to watch her show from the front row, and the baggy pants and pinstripe skirts, the satin pastel overcoats and the 1990s-style miniskirt suits. , in exaggerated tweed patterns, dominated her runway. All this was combined with corsets that spoke of sex and protection at the same time, and oily PVC tights.

Combined with huge double platform heels, her outfits gave the models the air of lords and ladies of an alternate universe. A universe that deserves exploration.

Certainly a universe that deserves more attention than the escapist and party-style parade in the desert by Etro, with animal prints and silk, or the mix of striped pieces of wool in an almost urban style by Missoni. A brand that seems so uncertain of what it actually is is that not even a catwalk packed with famous models like Iris Law and Eva Herzigova is enough to hide the confusion.


The same, by the way, goes for the conceptual nonsense offered by Marni, for which Francesco Risso embarked on a quest to surpass his immersive show of last season, but achieved results very different from what he expected.

Held in a dark and freezing warehouse, populated by plants and dust, with a kind of concrete ramp/hill in a central position and without chairs for spectators, the show involved models that wandered among the public. (One of the models was Risso, who started appearing in the fashion house shows last season, an initially charming surprise that is now starting to look more and more like an expression of vanity.) Each model was accompanied by a guide, wearing a cap and frayed jacket. , who carried a lantern to light the way through the spectators, until they climbed the ramp and then descended again to the middle of the audience, who struggled incessantly, and almost always unsuccessfully, to see the parade.

It’s a shame, because Risso is a talented stylist who genuinely manages to imbue his work with emotion. There seemed to be a lot of improvisation, a lot of last-minute solutions. There were rigorously tailored clothes; silk dresses, with embroidery; eccentric, handcrafted headdresses and hats.

Afterwards, the audience walked out into the daylight and into the warehouse yard, where the models had also gone to replenish their energy at a food and beverage buffet spread across two tables set on an island of cobalt-colored sand — it was the after-show show, in which Rizzo welcomed spectators with great energy and enthusiasm.

He talked about “courage” and “community”, and about each model bringing a personal talisman that the stylist incorporated into the look, seemingly without considering the fact that no one on the planet would know what those items were. Or that, instead of uniting those present, the organization of the parade actually served to create separation. It was not an everlasting success.

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