For spring-summer 2023, Ami went for the timeless, effortless and somewhat cliché, but always très cool theme: the Parisian chic. For the fashion show, the guests were at the top of Paris, in the grounds of La basilique du Sacré-Cœur with the city laid out below, gleaming in the sunny dusk. Catherine Deneuve and Carla Bruni were in the audience alongside Naomi Campbell and Jonathan Bailey. Extraordinarily, Audrey Tautou – Sacré-Cœur’s Amelie herself – was lured out of her long public retreat to open the show. Other key cast members included Liya Kebede, Karen Elson, Precious Lee, Cara Delevingne, and Kristen McMenamy. We were in menswear week, yes, but hey. This was a power play as well as a Paris play. Ever since budget has allowed, Alexandre Mattiussi‘s shows have been elaborate, but last year Mattiussi took a clearly very significant investment from Sequoia Capital that ratcheted up the production values several levels tonight. “They’re young, cool, easy, and they let me do whatever I want,” he said: “they are super supportive.” This was reflected in the casting, the location, and the after-party, but also, most crucially of all, in the clothes. Ami was an exclusively menswear label from its founding in 2011 until as recently as 2019, when it expanded into womenswear. Mattiussi expanded his Ami wardrobe – the presentation of carefully idealized observational fashion via looks and pieces based on real Parisian types and stereotypes but then applied with a cleverly restrained patina of enhancement. There was a formidable array of bags, a new category, and shoes all intricately detailed with the logo that Mattiussi first doodled as a student. Multiple dialects of bourgeois archetype were gently mashed together to create a beguilingly approachable and good-natured French wardrobe. “It is still about sharing the values of love, friendship, fraternity, and kindness. And not trying too hard. This is what is natural for me as a person and designer. And it is a postcard again – the latest episode of Ami in Paris.”
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.