Marco De Vincenzo doesn’t care that Fashionland is being swept by 90 winds. “I’ve always done things my way,” he said at the preview. At Etro, he’s learning, digging through archives, and “working,” he says, “to find the roots of my research.” That means embracing the brand’s heritage of mixing patterns and boho-chic pieces, an aesthetic 1970, rather than the rhythmic repetitions of structure, geometric precision, and quirky dynamic patterns that he favored.
De Vincenzo is fascinated by the brand’s rich textile archive; for him, “going back to the roots” means embracing the brand’s ethos radically, rather than subverting it backwards – he’s not a provocateur. He titled the series Radical Etro: “I feel like an archaeologist who has to confront the past and at the same time bring its findings to the present day.”
He was on the now-defunct series Never-before-seen airy ruffles, flowy ruffle dresses, imaginative collisions of pattern are all Etro’s raison d’être. With the curiosity and enthusiasm of a novice, he explores the range of possible resonances with the brand’s bohemian style. “I’ve never done flou before, and it’s new territory for me. But that lightness! All those yards and yards of light georgette are mesmerizing, and I’m hypnotized by all the potential of nothingness.”
There are many beautiful and romantic dresses in the collection that pay homage to the brand archives, but they have a unique eccentric flavor à la De Vincenzo. Sheer chiffon ruffled dresses in delicate floral or paisley prints were snugly wrapped in cozy tartan blankets in bright colours, or worn under drooping cutout cardigans. Oversized padded coats with contrasting printed linings also suggested lightness and a soft home feel, quilted as bedspreads and flowy tweed panels at the back.
De Vincenzo, improving the textile expertise developed by Etro “is a responsibility”. To this end, he intersperses airy chiffon with slim-fitting trouser suits, paired with elongated tuxedos, cut in rich century brocade, or slightly looser and boxier Square jackets or coat dresses in malleable multicolor knit textures and lapelless round double-breasted fronts—evidence of his respect for Etro heritage rather than reverence. “I haven’t changed,” he said. “I’m still the one who takes risks and doesn’t compromise.” It doesn’t get much more radical, really.