Throughout fashion month—at least one of the luxury brands—the audience witnesses what can only be described as fashion’s equivalent to fragile masculinity. Showing for the sake of showing.
The cyclical nature of fashion has heightened in recent years, with the revolving door at fashion houses reaching an incomprehensible velocity. Haider Ackermann’s out at Berluti. Kris van Assche’s in at Berluti and out at Dior Homme. Kim Jones is in at Dior Homme and out of Louis Vuitton men’s. Virgil Abloh’s in at Louis Vuitton men’s. And that’s just the menswear industry.
In Milan, there are shakeups with womenswear. Gaia Trussardi announced her departure from the family business. And most notably, Emilio Pucci, the house which spun a 180 degree turnaround from the hedonist vixen Peter Dundas created to a quieter, cerebral gamine by Massimo Giorgetti, is without a creative head. The studio team were responsible with crafting the Fall 2018 show in February.
Inspired by the brand’s history in America, the studio team drew inspiration from Los Angeles in the fifties, when Marilyn Monroe was acting, the jet-set were destined for some far-flung locale bedecked in palazzo pants and eye-catching graphic prints. The breeziness they aimed for, the Californian insouciance would’ve been better suited to a spring season. Puffers, ponchos and parkas don’t scream West Coast. That’s not to say their beachy elegance, often glamourised with big sunglasses, opera gloves and headscarves wasn’t entirely unsuccessful. It contrasted nonchalance with polish, private lives and public lives.
The clothes were all right, inoffensive and recognisably Pucci. What they sorely lacked was a directive vision. What an anonymous studio team can’t do that a creative director can is fabricate a believable narrative and inject it with their passion and past. Without this, there’s an awkward hollowness. They spoke of Marilyn and Old Hollywood but there weren’t many connections established between the references and the clothes.
It’s embarrassing really—behind-the-scenes, people put in copious amounts of work to make the show happen but all anyone can think about is who will be the next artistic director. What’s the point?