“All Art Has Been Contemporary”. The phrase that Italian artist Maurizio Nannucci inscribed on the wall of Berlin’s Altes Museum in 1999 sums up the spirit of my new collection, which plunges into the waters of classicism in search of a new modernity. Over the past few years I have on numerous occasions turned to veritable milestones in male fashion, such as the dinner jacket, the silk shirt, knitwear and dress pants – all classics and seemingly around forever, but which we sometimes forget only came about from a creative impulse and burst of madness.
In this collection I tried to do what the Mannerist artists did with classic art standards, i.e., change proportions, accentuate contrasts, underline expressiveness and incorporate dramatic touches. That’s why the trousers are inspired by 18th century toreador tights and the shirts irt with being blouses or pyjama tops, feature embroidery and ribbing, have wide lapels and are as tight tting as a silk apron. There is something choreographed in this collection which unfurls its inspirations in a sumptuous fashion: I wanted the spangles to evoke the changing hues of the Mediterranean, the same sea that a young Dalí painted to the astonishment of the Cadaqués shermen, dumbfounded at seeing those quiescent waves so carefully captured on canvas.
Transgressing through classicism: the campaign for the collection aspires to the same objective in the form of a special collaboration with photographer Antoine Passerat, whose ‘Statues’ series (2015-2017) breathes life into the marble of classic sculpture in search of unexpected insights. “I have spent the past two years on the road, encompassing these wonderful marble gures with my camera,” he explains. “I seek a dialogue with these still witnesses to the passage of time. I heighten my hearing to listen to and understand them. It’s not their faces that interest me but their bodies, which speak to me of heroic feats, heart- breaking passions and beauty”. In the campaign, Passerat’s sculptures like photographs take all the limelight. The collection evokes but does not show, inciting mystery in the same way that those splendid ancient temples kept their secrets in dark chambers.