Brioni creative director Brendan Mullane conjured a dreamy alpine mood for his fall collection, hoping to show how the brand’s city dweller survives in the great, often inhospitable, outdoors.
“What is utilitarian wear — for him — when it’s done in a sartorial way?” was one of the questions Mullane set out to answer with a collection that took in water-repellent yarns; tartan fabric for ski jackets; detachable fur hoods worn over lightweight wool and silk suits, and shiny leather hiking boots.
Brioni’s man certainly knows how to keep warm, whether he’s on his way to lunch on the slopes or just hanging around the hearth in his chalet.
In addition to the tailored suits — which came covered in textured checks or shadowy plaids — Mullane showed off a mink jacket and coat in a herringbone intarsia; a fur anorak; artists’ smocks in double-face cashmere, some with leather-piped seams, and a lineup of statement sweaters with a magnified check or geometric designs like shards of broken glass.
Mullane, who has always been one for meticulous research and development, talked before the show about the illusions and 3-D effects he created on fabrics, using techniques such as dyeing, printing, weaving, brushing and sandblasting. The show notes even mentioned “tactile narratives that need to be discovered up close.”
But all those special fabrics were lost on the runway. It would have been far better to stage a presentation where guests could spend time with the collection, touch the fabrics, and understand the complex workmanship.