In the current times of palpable hardship for the Italian fashion industry, well-established Andrea Pompilio has received a much coveted blessing by Re Giorgio (a.k.a. living cult Giorgio Armani)–who placed his bet on the utterly talented young designer by lending him his theatre on Via Borgognone for showcasing his SS15 menswear collection last Sunday. Undoubtedly this gesture marks a strong, encouraging signal for inaugurating a season of dialogue between emerging designers and established fashion houses–an exhortation to join synergies and overcome the wrath of the economic and cultural crisis.
The Milan Fashion Week that’s just wrapped up has highlighted two main trends: on one hand are the promoters of a return to classical, neatly-defined rigor and modest decorum; on the other, we’ve bowed at the unmistakable sovereignty of informal–though clearly luscious and ultimately elegant–sportswear. However not as loudly as many of his peers, Andrea Pompilio should definitely be placed amongst the latter category.
To strains of the classical violin-led melody of composer Ennio Morricone’s masterpiece “Giorno di Lavoro” (Day at Work) filling the air with the idea of an aristocratic, charmed youth, Pompilio’s slowly unleashes a poised, well-bred sense of elegance, layer by sensational layer (check the full video of the runway show here). As he reveals backstage, “The concept started from the idea of a classic bourgeois man and his son who has a sort of a different rock and roll soul”. It’s a realistic–though definitely elitist–scenario where the son has inherited style aspects from his father and infused them with his own playful elements of a distinctive, yet never outrageously screamed, punk flair. “He’s a rebel, the son of bourgeois parents, looking to make his mark on the world. He shows real pleasure in the way he dresses”, continues Pompilio. Each reference to formality is blunted by an impudent street statement, thus resulting into an alluring hybrid of fatherly composure and art-school underground subculture. Double-breasted jackets cut with crisp cotton and linen are paired with asymmetrical shirts with differing lengths and trimmed with pleated plisse for a kilted skirt effect. Short t-shirts are fashioned with subtle sequins firmly implanted on the fabric, exaggerated grommets are randomly scattered on shirts and sweatshirts, while pale white spikes blend into matching colored shirt collars. Pompilio’s gentrified take on this more subdued version of punk continues with ribbed socks cut off at the toes and slip-on slipper – providing the show with the eyebrow-raising moment of the day: classic sporty slip-ons in the city, so to say. The retro sunglasses, too, are a triumph of intent: with oversized lenses and a fine wire bridge they infuse a sense of real innovation and modernity in to the collection–resembling two broken pairs made whole by blending them together in harmony. The colour palette is overall ruled by soft nuances of beige and grey, except for a few pieces in ocra and burgundy, and it also marks a definite comeback to evergreen blue in most of his darker-to-lighter shades.
Despite being a clear “homage to punk” (as Pompilio himself puts it), we never witness a clichéd revisitation of mohawked minstrels of 1980’s London. Pompilio’s punks are more of the quiet, pensive kind – almost polite, if you will. His collection catapults us in to a noblesse family, “where father and son can be in the same room, but the son has his headphones on and the two are actually worlds apart”. That’s precisely why we are looking forward to more and more Andrea Pompilio. Impatiently. Until his next collection, we can enjoy a glance at more of his intimate universe in his recent feature on iconically inspirational The Selby.
· Official Website: www.andreapompilio.it
· SS15 Full Runway Show: www.andreapompilio.it/man-spring-summer-15.html
· Feature on “The Selby”: www.theselby.com/galleries/andrea-pompilio-fashion-designer-at-home-and-his-studio-in-milan/
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