Brioni is back
Finally, a fine fashion moment by Brioni, a brand that is not suffering a nervous breakdown chasing after the millennial generation.
All told, a refreshing collection from Brioni, where some subtle staging inside the storied Salomon de Rothschild mansion breathed new life into the storied Italian house. Looks were divided into trilogies and shown on a distinguished group of clever gentlemen. Like the legendary and now retired Gerald Holtz, France’s greatest sports newscaster, or the great Italian expressionist painter Enzo Cucchi.
Each gent was projected in three looks shown in elegant light boxes, in front of the actual clothes.
Holtz could be heard singing “Champs Elysées,” as he posed in a beige snakeskin jerkin and an impossibly well-cut tuxedo. Not so surprising seeing as Brioni has dressed James Bond.
The clothes were lavishly elegant and oozed quietly enjoyed success: from a supremely well-draped light gray topcoat with large lapels to a remarkable beige linen blazer artfully embroidered with a proud peacock. The whole event reeked class, which is surely right for a brand like Brioni, noted for top quality bespoke skills.
“It’s very important at Brioni to have respect for the future of this house. I am not coming here to do my own creative vision. It is always something built on the past and on our DNA,” explained creative director Nina-Maria Nitsche quietly in the mansion’s garden.
“How to put classic in a contemporary context. It’s not about concepts but little twists, like slightly miss-matching a three-piece suit. It’s not about fashion, it’s about high quality garments. It is not about a collection, but about creating a wardrobe. And creating them from different types of anatomy,” says Nitsche, a German born near Hamburg that has always been a big fan of Italy, and owns a villa near Mantua, the great Italian Renaissance capital of the Gonzaga family.
Somewhat surprisingly, Nitsche joined Brioni from conceptual label Maison Margiela, from which she explained she brought a fundamental respect for each individual garment.
“Our customers are men who do not define themselves by labels or logos. It’s all about comfort and elegance. My biggest challenge is to create a jacket so light and comfortable that you recognize it as Brioni. Then you can put your own name on,” smiles Nitsche who moved to Rome last year when she was appointed creative director, alongside the house’s highly respected and cerebral CEO Fabrizio Malverdi.
Nitsche now lives in central Rome since replacing Justin O’Shea, who caused deep convulsions at Brioni, by shooting Brioni ad campaigns starring Metallica. Notably industrious, Nitsche visits Brioni’s famed plant in the Abruzzo twice a month, reveling in the 220 steps, the brand’s exceedingly detailed production process from cutting to sewing on the label.
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