Marco De Vincenzo’s assumption of the creative helm of Etro, one of the debuts at this Milan Fashion Week, was eagerly awaited.
More than a bang, his groundbreaking effort felt like an arrow.
Instinctively and immediately, the collection opened a new chapter in the storied house, which, with all its cropped tops, short hems and overall simplified silhouettes, definitely pointed to a younger generation. What the effort likely lost in romance, it gained in straightforwardness and easy readability, which will come in handy in attracting new audiences to the brand.
Normally, the standard roadmap for a new creative director would have involved a deep dive into the archives with a dash of retooling the house’s signature codes. De Vincenzo approached the former and distanced himself from the latter – partly for reasons of time, partly for reasons of conviction.
“I didn’t have enough time to really get to know this world, to study and analyze it thoroughly, so I imagined what it could have represented for me and tried to free it from the past, but without denying it ‘ the designer said backstage before the show.
The first consequence of this approach? Little to no paisley in sight. “I think Etro represents a lot more than that,” De Vincenzo said, citing the textile wealth and know-how he found on his first visit to the company’s archives last summer.
Denim brocades featuring flowers, birds and exotic fruits made a strong impression when cut into essential shapes like a bra, mini dress, long skirt and cape. An intricate beaded version of the pattern also caught the eye.
As the line-up progressed, colors made an appearance and De Vincenzo’s own aesthetic emerged. Hand-dyed cashmere separates in faded streaks evoked the rainbow patterns that made the designer’s own work and eponymous brand recognizable.
Other graphic elements included striped cotton shirts in bright hues and a reinterpretation of boho fringes on duchesse satin mini dresses, which De Vincenzo said required a lot of work but ended up feeling out of place in the lineup.
A master of accessories – he still retains his role in Fendi’s accessories design department – De Vincenzo also worked on Love Trotter, a tote bag made from upcycled vintage fabrics, immediately available in a limited edition thanks to a partnership with Mytheresa came to market.
Overall, De Vincenzo was smart to reposition a brand that usually played in its own style league to instead tap into current trends and tick denim, sheers, dressier cargo pants and crochet details off his list. It was an interesting first step that makes you wonder what the second step – for menswear – will be like.
https://wwd.com/runway/spring-2023/milan/etro/review/ Etro RTW Spring 2023 – WWD