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Collections —Man / Prêt-à-Porter

Fall / Winter — 2003

Press Release

“Enchanted by the idea of winter, I let myself succumb to tales and images of high-altitude experiences, challenges, peaks and glaciers. All with the intent of instilling urban dressing with certain styles and solutions, signs of energy and immediacy emblematic of clothing for severe climates. So, ideally I drew together places far from one another on the map of Europe. With the Pyrenees in mind, I designed big overcoats quilted on the outside; rough&ready fur wraps too, unlined, dyed khaki or dark green. Envisioning a trip to the Alps, I paired the casual-chic jacket in boiled melton – white or black, a white scarf for the ‘must’ accessory – with clean neat trousers, otherwise comfortable pants with capacious pockets. Pullovers meanwhile seem hand knit, have embroidery, feature a ‘lived-in’ thickweave wool; they come slim under jackets and coats, otherwise comfortably straight like the ski sweaters of times past…

The result is a sensible, balanced collection clearly capturing the reasons why the male wardrobe includes certain items, meets precise needs. First of all, that of inflecting even the most classic forms of citywear with a casual, sporty spirit. As in the chesterfield which I destructured (without diminishing its distinctive allure), then gave a warm shaved-mink lining fine for beating the bitterest cold…

This quest for a soft ease led me to reread certain connections, bypass customary assonances between body and clothes. If an item is sporty not necessarily must it be slim; on the contrary, it can acquire volume and dimension, as in the padded nylon mid-winter caban cut off above thighs yet still in a boxy duffel-coat shape. Instead, business suit and sportjacket – in definitely mannish fabrics (flannels, pinstripes, herringbone and diagonal wools) – hug the figure gently thanks to small shoulders, streamline chest, narrow waist. Revealing a pure sartorial expertise and flair…

There is a wish for solidity and calmness that comes through also in the colors: beyond black and white (which I consider a récherché hue), greige, pine green, anthracite, plus shots of turquoise or lacquer red reminiscent of alpenstock decorations. Shoes are expressly sturdy, thermal too, in leather and microfiber. With soles thick and solid yet in no way coarse.

Sensible, balanced is the spirit of eveningwear as well. Perfect in that elementary, exquisitely so: a black cashmere cardigan, at once easy and lusciously soft, over the piqué vest and the utterly white shirt…”

Gianfranco Ferré