Lawrence Steele has been making wardrobe staples the focal point of his tenure at Aspesi. It certainly helped him that the brand has built its reputation on signature, basic items — think the padded overshirt, the crisp crewneck, delicate floral dresses and trenchcoat.
The latter was Steele’s seasonal obsession and he offered it in iterations made of crisp and wrinkled gabardine with curved shoulders. To be sure, he is adding just whiffs of his extensive fashion knowledge to make clothing look the same but different.
He is not defining the season’s look. “You walk into one’s wardrobe and you pick what represents your identity,” he said. There were plenty of options in his closet: buffalo check shirts in thick wool and oversize Fair Isle knits with a worn-in feel; the signature padded overshirt with diamond-shaped quilting; dresses cut straight and belted, some in refined black wools others in geometric florals.
Some numbers were borrowed from the men’s collection presented in January — a double-breasted coat in Prince of Wales check and red duchesse satin was one — which spurred the radical choice to start offering the same items in a wide range of sizes.
Steele described it as an “industrial practical” move. Smart.