“It’s not really a superstition, but the number nine keeps appearing in my life, since I was a kid,” said Alexandre Mattiussi, ahead of the show for AMI’s ninth anniversary, showing the Roman numeral tattooed on his wrist. “When there’s nine somewhere, I’m happy.”
The show celebrated the über-Parisian identity of the brand, taking place at the Trianon, a 19th-century theater and concert hall near Montmartre. On each seat, a book chronicled the almost-decade of the brand, opening with a childhood portrait of Mattiussi, who turns 40 this year, and a sweeping view of the Eiffel Tower as seen at his fall 2019 show.
Models emerged from the scene’s velvet curtains accompanied by a live accordion performance by Bosnia-born musician Mario Batkovic. For the finale, the curtains rolled back to reveal a decor depicting a Parisian street in which the models arranged themselves around tables, along steps and in windows, with French actress Audrey Marnay taking pride of place at a café table.
The lineup had a decidedly Sixties flavor, although bowler hats dotted throughout skewed Charlie Chaplin meets “A Clockwork Orange.” Magnified details like wide-rib corduroy, sequins the size of sand-dollars and large houndstooth patterns gave a Polly Maggoo flair to his silhouettes.
More than blurring the line, this iteration seemed to question the very definition of the male wardrobe. There were fluted shorts with legs so wide they could be mistaken for a skirt, pleated overskirts that nodded to the Japanese hakama, the oversize sequins were paired with denim, and, overall, the clothes were worn by a fluidly androgynous cast.
This was a more theatrical collection for AMI, although it was still easy to see how individual pieces could become everyday staples. Did his bolder, more editorial direction work out? The answer is a resounding oui.