Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi have been feeling their way toward a more minimal aesthetic for several seasons now, though years of dedication to an almost Baroque degree of embellishment are hard to shed.
Eschewing even prints, their fall collection was their most pared-down yet, at times bringing to mind the great masters of minimalism of the Nineties (Helmut Lang, Jil Sander, Calvin Klein et al).
It revolved around trouser suits that paired slightly short blazers with slinky drop-crotched pants split at the ankle. Variants included a black zip-up jacket and pants with contrasting seams — a discreet horizontal band of black satin identifying it as possibly the world’s most incognito tracksuit.
The athletic references were more overt on dresses that paired wrap skirts with assymetric tank tops, a line of red piping outlining the body’s curve. Dressier options were a Thirties-style slip dress in a geometric patchwork of black materials, or a flapper dress entirely covered in silver sequins.
Despite their flawless construction, the coats skewed somewhat generic at first glance, with the exception of the show’s elegant opening number. Featuring elongated sleeves, it was black with a single white lapel that segued into a side-buckle belt, forming a swoosh of contrasting color.
“The sense of luxury is very personal,” Aquilano said backstage.
“We worked for years with very ornate embroidery. There comes a point where you ask yourself if real women today still want that exaggerated embroidery — or maybe they want something more intimate. It’s something I’m asking myself. So I’m trying to evolve my embroideries in a more functional direction.”
How do you redefine the essence of a brand? Watching them work out the answer is proving an intriguing journey.