Norbert Stumpfl came across a mid-’50s newspaper with pictures of Brioni’s collections of that time: “They looked incredibly modern,” he said during his spring-summer 2023 presentation. ”They made tailored jackets out of jersey, trousers in leather, traditional masculine suits were made with sumptuous women’s evening wear fabrics.” This spirit of modernity is what he wanted to propose in the spring collection, presented in the verdant private cloisters in one of the hidden locations Milan is famous for. Expanding on the idea of individuality, Stumpfl offered an anecdote: “One of our young clients choose a pale pink suit to propose in,” he said. “It made me so happy, it felt so nice, and it was proof that Brioni is the go-to label to celebrate the most special and intimate moments.” The sentimental gesture of the young customer inspired him to draw the line: for spring, he said, “no business, no ties, but supple, formally informal tailoring for young men.” Playing on subtle contrasts, pajama suits were made in silk knitwear; blousons in matte crocodile felt as malleable as jumpers; a shirt’s fabrication, light as air, was used for an equally weightless unlined soft tailored suit. Reprising the house’s tradition of using women’s fabrications for menswear, a trench coat was made in satin de cuir, a heavenly smooth, sumptuous fabrics with a discreet, inconspicuous shine. Stretching the remarkable skills of Brioni’s tailors and artisans, a three-pieces suit was entirely made by hand as if it were a couture piece. But the jewels in the collection’s crown were the evening tuxedos, made in precious silk jacquard woven on antique looms by Setificio Leuciano, an historic artisanal company which was purveyor to the Royal Palace of Caserta. The edited women’s offer was as elegant and breezy as the men’s, with masculine silk shirts elongated to become a dress worn over soft straight pants, and ankle-grazing evening coats impeccably cut. Brioni is imbued with a quintessentially Roman mindset: lightness of spirit, a perfect eye for beauty, and the natural allure of nonchalance which comes from millennia of proximity with the world’s most stunning artifacts.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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