After a first round in Paris for fall 2018, Olivier Saillard has taken his Moda Povera concept to Milan. On the first floor of Carla Sozzani’s gallery at 10 Corso Como, the fashion historian, who is currently creative director of J.M. Weston, presented his second collection of couture T-shirts.
“We ordered simple cotton T-shirts online, sometimes in XXXL sizes,” explained Saillard, who got the idea for the project after meeting Martine Lenoir, a former seamstress for Madame Grès. “Martine taught me the designer’s draping technique, and I adapted it to create an homage to Madame Grès through a very ordinary object.”
Paired with sleek black trousers, cotton T-shirts in block colors are draped, pleated, restructured and transformed into couture pieces in a stunning demonstration of Madame Grès’ technique, delivered by Saillard himself, who made a few appearances on the runway. Additions this season are long T-shirt dresses, cotton headpieces and a lace back detail on one of the white T-shirts. Each item is created in seven editions and, as the show notes instructed, should be dry-cleaned (in case you forget, these are no ordinary T-shirts.)
Presented on the same two models as the previous season – one of them is the elegant Axelle Doué, a former fit model for Madame Grès — the collection has expanded slightly, consisting of 34 pieces this season.
But Saillard was quick to point out that might change: “We add and take away pieces show after show, we play around with the selection, leaving it in constant movement,” he explained, adding that the collection, give or take a couple of changes, will also be presented during next Paris couture week. “We want to create a timeless show that is basically the same, but with a couple of new additions.”