MILAN, JANUARY 18, 2016
by ALEXANDER FURY
Fashion shouldn’t be about setting, nor set dressing. Nevertheless, Trussardi’s adoptive home of the Palazzo Brera—a storied Milanese mansion designed by Giuseppe Piermarini—is pretty impressive. If you haven’t encountered it, the hand is the same that determined the Teatro alla Scala, which gives you an idea of the aesthetic and impact. It’s fairly grand.
However, the palazzo is also an artistic hub of Milan; it houses a glut of Renaissance masterpieces and a painting academy. That fits with Trussardi—in 1996, the label established its own contemporary art foundation, supporting exhibitions by the likes of Maurizio Cattelan, Elmgreen and Dragset, and Martin Creed. It’s named after Nicola Trussardi, who didn’t establish the label (that was his father) but propelled it to worldwide success. The company is still a family affair: Tomaso Trussardi is CEO, Maria Luisa Trussardi is president, and Gaia Trussardi is creative director.
Gaia’s last two menswear collections have been staged in the Brera, underlining her interest in men of the arts—namely, in their style. For Spring, models read aloud in the building’s library; the clothes, though, were simple sportswear. This season, musicians were busking through the corridors, and the collection itself was infused with the all-pervasive mood of ’70s rock that has seemingly infiltrated every other collection in Milan. It all tied neatly together.
When you get down to the nitty-gritty of garments, we’re not talking Bowie or Ferry in their outré, lamé retro-futuristic glam incarnations; it was rather more like Paul Weller and John Lennon, whose style proved especially remarkable because it was pulled together from disparate, everyday items—corduroy and tweed jackets; silk shirts with matching ties; a subdued palette of blues, grays, and earthenware tones of sepia and terra-cotta. Those are normal, but the style they composed has endured. It still has an aspirational pull for men who aspire to the frequently fruitless task of looking cool.
You can’t buy cool, of course. Nevertheless, Trussardi’s expertise in leather and skins managed to elevate the proceedings, the presumption being that if you can’t buy cool, you can definitely sell luxury. Examples: a scarlet leather jacket with bonded wool interior and a lush clay-red shearling with an intarsia of oversize lumberjack check in calf. They were unobtrusive but exceptional. Ripe for any luxury customer to pull into their wardrobe and wear forever. Cool.