The Acne cut is youthful, with slightly cropped pants and low-buttoning jackets in different styles (single- and double-breasteds, standard lapels and shawl collars), all in Italian bonded wool. The hitch is that, on the runway at least, they can look a little flat, even when pepped up by accents of raspberry, royal blue, or teal. "It's the way they dress," Johansson said of his clientele. "It's that moment when you're not grown up and at the same time, not a kid. The kind of sexual energy that brings." Keep looking down, to the boys' shiny patent Chelsea boots, and you could get a better sense of the signature Acne charge.
Take your pick: Out paraded a cast of poli-sci revolutionaries, class clowns (with oversize pants hanging loosely off suspenders), baggy-jean hoods, even a Groucho Marx, complete with cigar. This being a Vivienne Westwood show, each wore a bloody swath of lipstick. The moments that veered closest to trad—the suits thrown only slightly askew by sagging trousers and jackets buttoned on the bias—were the strongest. Or at least, you'd imagine they will be on the sales floor. But there was a daffy coherence to the whole. "Our MAN collection has plenty of choice," Westwood wrote by way of preface. And choose she did. When she took her bow, bouquet in hand, as a sort of blushing bride, she was arm-in-arm with a quilted-jacket tough. But lest that choice be too constricting, there were four other lads trailing behind.
It could have been one more fashion love letter to one of the most influential performers of the past half-century—the designer acknowledged backstage how intrigued he's always been by Bowie—and that would have been the end of it. But obviously Van Noten had other things on his mind. He said Bowie got him thinking about surfaces and what happens when you scratch them, and so he put together a collection that was based on oppositions: a formal navy evening jacket over a casual white tee; a sleek, chic shawl-collared blazer in traditional camel pinning down the silhouette over huge white cargo pants; a cropped cadet jacket laden with bullion embroidery paired with a chunky hand-knit; dark overcoats in the most traditional English materials layered over their exact twins in bright white technical fabrics.
The parade of head-to-toe hides succeeded best as a salute to a century of Trussardi's extraordinary expertise, rather than as an incitement to don a second skin. Vukmirovic himself saw it as a punctuation point, cleaning the slate for the future. The head-scratchers like the paper-thin leather camo were eye-catching, but reassuringly, it was the more "ordinary" pieces that pointed to that future. Cue a parka in glistening black pony.
Milan - Paris