At Massimo Alba, it’s all about the staples: “a jacket, a pair of trousers, a shirt.” But it’s the way he does it: the colors, the way they match together, and the way he and his team finish the fabrics.
“It’s not about keywords or storytelling or content, we’re focusing on the product, the product for us is essential,” said the designer, who recalled his time living in Scotland as the creative director of Ballantyne.
“For me, true elegance is the farmers and the people working in the mills. They’re doing their job in the perfect way, and they feel comfortable in their clothes,” he said, summing up his ideal attitude as being: “Normal, gentle, soft and informal in a certain way.”
Part of the collection’s preciousness lay in the artisanal processes, such as a gloriously soft cashmere sweater carded by hand using thistles, available in plain and striped versions, or another style made of a cashmere, mohair and silk blend with jewel-tone geometric motifs.
The collection’s autumn palette sang in a rust-colored velvet double-breasted coat, the same fabric resurfacing on updates of the Gstaad jacket with reinforced elbows, with brushed flannel shirts in shades of wild rosehip, green and mustard among other highlights. The striped shirts with a waxy finish were lovely as well, with a British country gentleman and Bloomsbury Group themes also inspiring the collection.
More sober options included a simple gray wool jacket, the Brera, based on the types the orchestra directors at La Scala wear during rehearsals, with an optional matching pant.
Nodding to Alba’s love of animals, the collection housed a capsule of stoles and handkerchiefs with watercolor prints of African animals, made in collaboration with an Italian artist who goes by the name of Clementina. Ten percent of the proceeds will go to African Parks, a nonprofit association that protects and conserves parks in Africa and for which she is a young ambassador.