Luca Magliano is no doubt Italy’s fashion talent of his generation that there is the most eyes on — his languid, soulful and rustic clothing coming with a captivatingly emotional undercurrent that the audience has so far related to.
Returning to Pitti Uomo as guest designer with his fall show Wednesday, the Bologna native, who had debuted here in 2018, felt an urge to engage in the conversation around the traditional tailoring and menswear classics the fair spotlights.
Coming out of a fog-filled cavernous space, characters swathed in gray, mud and sage green tailoring or tailoring-derivative garb strode the perilously long staircase used as a runway at the Nelson Mandela Forum, a popular and common venue, even “humble” compared to the Renaissance palazzos that fill the city, according to Magliano.
Ordinary life fascinates the designer the most and enables him to use his intellectual fashion to make social commentary, and take political stances, on gender, acceptance and togetherness.
The emotional tug hinging on Magliano’s ability to portray characters was reinforced with street casting and everyday people, many from the designer’s inner circle, turning into a powerful tableau vivant as, fatigued, they climbed the stairs on their way out during the finale.
Fluid pants and blazers worn with stand-up collars, and jackets knotted at the waist or cropped as short as boleros continued to chart Magliano’s penchant for lived-in garb inspired by the ’80s, their deconstructed, almost leisurely feel the standouts of the show. They were counterpointed by bulky outerwear, as in elongated bombers, toggle jackets with misplaced fasteners and padded duffle coats, as well as vintage-y knits and sweater sets.
To mark his freewheeling take on traditional menswear, Magliano tossed in a “joyous sabotage” of Borsalino hats, repurposing the signature fedora to resemble paper party hats, and even managing to forge a link with Neapolitan tailor Kiton, resulting in Magliano’s first handmade garments — two suits in black and white.
He characterized the latter tie-up as a coming together of different universes based upon the common ground of ethical, high-quality, Made in Italy fashion.
The older guy in sequined pants and a cat-bearing fuzzy sweater and the girl with moustaches in leather pants, studded belt and off-shouldered zippered hoodie struck a chord more for their provocativeness than their clothing.
“The [collection creation] process was much more intellectual than usual,” Magliano said backstage.
That’s perhaps why the powerful messages he typically conveys through fashion got somehow diluted along the way.