“For us it’s just ended. Now we’re in the disaster movie, living the day after, with the responsibility of the survivors. And we’ll tell you about it. The world is changing, the crisis will persist and, meantime, we are standardizing ourselves to the different lifestyles. The Eighties will not return, the people will not suddenly throng the stores to buy everything they see. Fashion must change and us with it.”
The day after the apocalypse, the dawn of tomorrow, the uncertain destiny of those who have never stopped believing in the future. This is the setting that Maurizio Modica and Pierfrancesco Gigliotti have chosen to tell the tale of what will be from now on: «A point of no return, the inevitable cut-off-line between fashion and fast fashion, between culture and consumerism, between survival and rebirth».
And so the new menswear collection has the face of a choreography inspired by the fantasy-apocalyptical visions of the cinema, which range from the Seventies trash catastrophe classics—in tune with the irreverent mood that has always distinguished the maison—to the more recent box office giants, such as “The Day After Tomorrow” and “2012”, but also the darker “The Road”.
“We thought of the catwalk as a theatrical show, a performance,” explain the two designers, “and we gave it choreography, as well as an explanatory name: ‘Mind Door Monoliths’.
In our representation, dancers, performers and models interact to communicate the message we want to give through two types of movement: coded, which for us represents the more interior and symbolic part; and classicality, the counterpoint to that of the performers and their wooden monoliths.
It’s the rawest, most instinctive movement, aimed at the construction of a metaphorical door to the future. The undisputed stars of this narrative are the clothes worn, which do not take second place, indeed quite the opposite. They become the ‘living’ captions of our story: the army blankets, like simple plaids, are not only a game of overlaps, a style army, but the architecture from which real clothes are born. We sectioned them, used them in part, readapted them with technical belts and transformed them into lifesaver jackets, just like sartorial pieces designed for survival.”
It’s a story sometimes threaded with bitterness that which Frankie Morello reveals on the runway. A story of denouncement, of disenchanted judgment of [the contemporary].
“It’s because we are going through a period that is itself the set of a disaster movie: it’s hard to imagine the future faced by the designers, challenged by fast fashion. We feel that we are not just designers who sit behind a desk designing a pair of trousers, but that we judged [the contemporary], the historic moment in which we find ourselves; a dramatic moment in which the fashion system seems to be suffering the consequences of a certain superficiality that, in past years, has marked the needs of the market.”
Not only: “The cost of this uncertainty, which is also and above all political, is being paid by art, which is increasingly mistreated.” And so, a T-shirt where the Divine Comedy ends up symbolically as a sandwich filling, as if to say that culture needs to be valued, not swallowed up.
“It’s a clear message: creativity is extremely important to us, something from which we no longer want to be separated. That is why we chose to express ourselves ‘through a performance,’ in which the prevailing mood is optimism: the ‘door of the mind’, the final finishing line, is the opening that leads to an unknown future, in which we are left with nothing except our interiority, represented by the nudity of the performers, defined by Maurizio and Pierfrancesco as ‘a philosophizing’ about the human body and its ability to build a refuge, which in our narrative takes the form of these portable wooden houses. The performers wear nothing else because each one of us must start anew from the self, from one’s own culture and preparation, to be able to build the world of tomorrow.”
Photos & text Copyright Frankie Morello.