Brioni on the mend in a Paris mansion
One house that now appears on the mend after a considerable amount of recent turbulence is Brioni. The Italian tailor unveiled a new creative director and a surprising new method of presentation.
The Italian tailor unveiled a new creative director - a certain Nina-Maria Nitsche, and an alumni of Martin Margiela – and a surprising new method of presentation. All told, a blend of impeccably workmanship and elegant tailoring with just the right dash of sartorial fantasy.
Presented inside a grand hôtel particulier, it consisted of a series of rooms with installations featuring three complete looks all facing larger light boxes with photos of elegant Italian gents wearing the actual clothes.
A healthy reality check for a classical Italian brand that was convulsed in 2016 by the brief tenure of a one-time buyer Justin O’Shea as its designer who shot an ad campaign with Metallica and stuck a coffin in the window of a Brioni Paris flagship.
What looked best were creamy cashmere herring bone top coats; a rather divine pea-coat with removable sheepskin collar and the reinterpretation of a classical travel jacket, first developed in 1968 as a personalized bespoke piece. Classy with just a tiny twist, as one would expect from Nitsche, the pinch hitter at Margiela after the founding designer quit in 2009.
“I was thinking back to the period when Martin Margiela designed for Hermès (between 1997 and 2003) and the result was a sophisticated updating of classic clothes. Which is what I believe we achieved with Nina’s first collection,” commented Fabrizio Malverdi, the recently appointed CEO who chose Nitsche. He joins Brioni after a notable career that included stints as CEO of Givenchy and Dior Homme.
In many connoisseurs view, Brioni’s famed factory in green hills of the Abruzzi in south central Italy is quite simply the best bespoke manufacturing plant anywhere for men’s fashion. Founded in 1945, Brioni is best known for dressing James Bond and producing truly unique special orders for well heeled international clients. Evidence for that was abundant at this presentation – most notably with the collection’s finest moment in the last room. A truly magnificent gold putty hued velvet jacket and a cobalt blue velour dressing gown – both finished with delightful embroidery of exotic birds. Based on a Japanese tapestry that the designer – who joined Brioni in June - had herself discovered.
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