#SuzyMFW: Folksy Sportswear At Etro And Marco de Vincenzo's New Baroque

Etro's paisley tribe

At the entrance to the Etro show, a digital circle, projected on the wall, dripped with acid colours. Inside, all was set for arrival of the paisley tribe: tiny, festive squares of bunting swung above as if at a festival high up in the mountains. Backstage, Veronica Etro was surrounded by vivid patterns from her tactile mood board, where bits of leopard print fake fur were as touchy-feely as the images were crazily colourful. It announced the words tracking, meditation, ying and yang, flags and regimental.

Etro mood board

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A post shared by Suzy Menkes (@suzymenkesvogue) on Feb 24, 2017 at 6:17am PST

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“It’s like a festival – it’s a party! And I call it the ‘Paisley Tribe,’ gathering in peaks of the mountains, an altitude festival where folk wear meets sportswear and the street,” said Veronica with the same enthusiasm that then appeared on the runway in rich colours and patterns.

Etro Autumn/Winter 2017

Etro Autumn/Winter 2017

Etro Autumn/Winter 2017

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The designer has moved so far forward in the sophistication of her designs, since her early days of flinging fabrics around the body. She also managed to steer the collection away from the familiar 1970s hippie trail with two definite directions for this festival gathering: one was sporty, but still intensely embellished, such as shorts and a top where a plaited ribbon embroidery looked like Tibetan artwork. Then there were coats: decorated in a different way with appliqués of flowers; or puffer jackets, seen everywhere right now, but not with such elaborate effects as at Etro.

Etro Autumn/Winter 2017

Etro Autumn/Winter 2017

Etro Autumn/Winter 2017

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Etro Autumn/Winter 2017

Etro Autumn/Winter 2017

Etro Autumn/Winter 2017

Indigital

I asked Veronica how she would define this new direction that united a feeling of freedom, especially in outerwear, with an intensely Italian focus on fabrics. “It is about introducing sportswear with not technical fabrics, but brocades. It’s our vision of sports,” she said. “By choosing a multi-ethnic casting, I felt I was gathering free-spirited women in this festival. We take a lot of inspiration from different cultures, fabric and textiles, to give this sense of unity and richness.”

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Marco de Vincenzo: Baroque light

The Italian lust for decoration goes back at least to the Baroque era. As the major European supplier of fabrics, designers at Milan Week have a unique hotline to a grandeur that has long faded elsewhere.

Marco de Vincenzo Autumn/Winter 2017

Marco de Vincenzo Autumn/Winter 2017

Marco de Vincenzo Autumn/Winter 2017

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Marco de Vincenzo laid out his vision in his show notes: “creating a conjunction between seemingly incompatible elements is my main creative drive,” he said. “The bigger the gap – the more quirky and personal the outcome.”

Marco de Vincenzo Autumn/Winter 2017

Marco de Vincenzo Autumn/Winter 2017

Marco de Vincenzo Autumn/Winter 2017

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The show opened with an ink blue fur printed with a galaxy of indefinite objects. The result was rich and rare, not to mention the painted and patterned boots. And so the show continued with a too-much-is-never-enough attitude exemplified by the melds of flowery blouses with checked kilts and even the hosiery patterned with leaves like a muddy autumnal path.

Marco de Vincenzo Autumn/Winter 2017

Marco de Vincenzo Autumn/Winter 2017

Marco de Vincenzo Autumn/Winter 2017

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But the designer's work is increasingly sophisticated and has the advantage of being original, which in a cookie-cutter fashion world is a plus point. For the men's clothes, which were shown alongside, the effect of a peach and blue striped fur waistcoat was too costume-like. Yet the collection in general had a funky charm which, had it just been thrown together, might have been ridiculous. But with such Italian finesse, even an animal print waistcoat over a patterned sweater, striped skirt and those leafy hose looked like an original and deliberate fashion statement.

Marco de Vincenzo Autumn/Winter 2017

Marco de Vincenzo Autumn/Winter 2017

Marco de Vincenzo Autumn/Winter 2017

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