MILAN, JANUARY 18, 2016
by LUKE LEITCH
Presidents Obama and Putin both wear Canali—but not quite like this. Under the creative direction of Andrea Pompilio, Canali continues to use the language of fashion as a gentle exploration of the boundaries of the sartorial.
This afternoon’s collection was dominated by suiting in check double-faced gabardine presented in various combinations of green, blue, and eggplant. From afar—this was a long runway—the pieces looked to be in block color, then up close the square pixelations delineated themselves upon the eye. Three-button jackets were sometimes fly fronted for only the bottom two attachments, meaning the top two buttons could be fastened—as is customary—with the illusion of engaging only one. On quite tight pants that sometimes hugged the thigh a little intimately, belt loops either extended over the left quad above a flapped flat pocket, or tubed entirely around the waist to leave room only for the no-profile popper belt buckles. The effect of this was to smooth the silhouette at the midriff, and move the emphasis down to meatily buckled monk straps. Similarly buckled were elephant-wrinkly soft suit carriers and cutely dimpled black napa portfolios.
A ponyskin greatcoat looked black from a distance. On approach, it declared itself as midnight blue with double-faced black napa only at the collar and trim. There was a cuddly beast of an alpaca overcoat. Against the suiting, any flash of brightness in this dark collection came at the neck: contra-color collars in ocher, mustard, and bottle green surrounded narrow scarves corralled via unruly knots into ties. There was some pop in the fitted knitwear, too. Backstage Elisabetta Canali said: “There is a lot to see in this collection, but there is a lot more behind it that is invisible, too.” Canali might not be the shoutiest sartorial brand on Milan’s schedule, but what it says is expressed with care, seriousness, and focus.