AMI: When less is infinitely more
Few French designers are in better shape today than Alexandre Mattiussi, whose AMI show Tuesday evening in Paris was a brilliant statement of how less can be – in the hands of a skilled practitioner – infinitely more.
He staged this co-ed spring 2020 collection inside the Grand Palais -- to many people the world’s most beautiful exhibition space -- and a building now indefinitely linked in fashion memory to the massive sets of the late Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel.
Instead, this AMI show featured just two circles of simple, wooden French chaise pliantes, or old wooden foldable chairs. In-between walked his perfectly chosen cast from the obscure, to French insider 'it gal' Agathe Mougin.
The very modesty of the set highlighting the immensity of the space; and establishing a poetic mood to this show, and collection. Even the deeply uncomfortable added an air of cool gravitas.
Unusually for his chosen profession, Mattiussi is a modest type; albeit enormously self-assured. He began his career creating subtle commercial menswear but has gradually injected a powerful layer of sophisticated cutting, alluring silhouettes and overall polish into his oeuvre.
For men, he cut pleated flared pants; sleeveless redingotes and matinee idol spy coats. Alexandre is the master of the new slouchy suit that is suddenly de rigueur in menswear.
He is also an able colorist, so his creamy reds and dreamy purples all look right. His edit is spot on – from the posh pocket chains to the woven leather necklaces with pendants. The ensemble always says fashion but never in capital letters.
For women, perfectly judged trousers; crisp jackets worn over full lace skirts and multiple smaller versions of their boyfriends’ clothes.
“In a place like this, it felt like the occasion to give the collection a more Parisian feel, some couture, more sculpted, a tad more chic… Poetic and romantic, after a long period of meditation,” said Alexandre.
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