For fall, Agnona designer Simon Holloway looked to Nineties style icon Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy for inspiration for his luxe lineup of minimalist tailoring for women and — for the first time in 20 years — showed men’s alongside it.
Backstage, he called the return “long overdue” for the house that cashmere built, open since 1978. “In the cashmere world, there is a space for something more contemporary and modern, but still with a timeless nobility in terms of silhouettes and yarns and fabrics.”
Men’s looks emphasized the kind of understated prep John Kennedy Jr. wore or, for a more contemporary reference, Chris Evans in the film “Knives Out” (courtesy of costume designer Jenny Eagan). And indeed, Holloway did include his own version of the film’s cream Aran sweater that made the Internet swoon, worn on the runway with taupe cashmere trousers, cream cable socks and black loafers.
Evans’ character’s “waggish wooliness,” as The New Yorker put it, also came to mind looking at the classic double-breasted camel coat with matching turtleneck underneath, the unlined pack-and-go chestnut wool-cashmere suit, and the blue and gray cashmere buffalo plaid wool cashmere shirt with leather elbow patches that was like luxe L.L. Bean.
The designer leaned into camel-hair classics for women, too, opening with a belted coat with flap pockets that brought to mind Bessette-Kennedy’s Calvin Klein topper. (Holloway worked at Calvin Klein himself, but not at the same time she did.) “Her taste was so rigorous, and all of her clothes were intelligently selected,” he said of her uptown polish.
A camel-colored double-face cashmere peacoat had shearling paneling, a sleeveless camel cashmere knit dress was gracefully cut on the bias, and a cream gabardine trenchcoat was accented with luggage brown leather panels.
Holloway dipped into the Agnona archives and remade a couple of black-and-white herringbones and houndstooths in cashmere jersey, to give couture-like silhouettes (double lapel belted jackets, and straight skirts) a relaxed, lightweight ease. (Good thinking, since the winter temps in Milan have been inching up toward 60 degrees Fahrenheit this week.)
It was all lovely enough but maybe a bit limp-looking, especially for a runway stage.