Etro’s beautiful eco bamboo fashion direction
Nothing like travel for broadening the mind. Especially at Etro, where a two-week trip by creative director Kean Etro to Japan led to a memorable collection.
The result was the best menswear collection from Etro in donkey's years, principally because of its ecological underpinnings and truly novel fabrics. The most important of which was bamboo.
“The thing about bamboo is that it grows everywhere, it’s invasive. So we should use the fiber. It’s true bio-diversity. When you think of the enormous quantity of water we use to make cotton, bamboo looks like a wonder material by comparison,” argues Kean Etro.
Groups models posed in tableaux in a pathway through a bamboo forest, in various themes: dandy samurai in fantastic jacquard bamboo image scarfs, redingotes or topcoats. Or pre-Raphaelite artists in dark hippie Ikat-style jackets embroidered with birds; or hippie flautists with great patchwork jackets and pants. Talk about posh vagabond chic.
“There is so much more richness in a jacquard where you can mix 6 or 7 different threads,” enthused Kean. Happily, jacquards everywhere and a lot less stripes, a smart renewal at Etro
And not just bamboo, the gentlemanly designer also included jute, hemp and even – believe it or not – nettles. “It’s amazing but it works!” he laughed. According to Kean, one kilo of cotton takes 20,000 liters of water to produce; hemp by comparison needs only 500.
All the cast standing amongst various elegant objects - Kyudo bow and arrow, Kendo sword, didgeridoo and shakuhachi flutes.
An expert Italian gardener called Giampietro brought in the wonderful bamboo set and took all the plants to the outskirts of Milan post show – Zero Kilometer Plants, Kean called them.
“I was in Japan for 15 days and went to the places I like in early October. Met a Zen master and samurai sword maker. And went to this observatory by Hiroshi Sugimoto. Editors who know I like these places took me to them to do stories. And a few hours mediation and lots of martial arts,” he recalled, sounding very refreshed, just like this collection, and brand.
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