Forte-Forte is a womenswear company; after spending time in the archive, Scaburri proposed what turned into the A Poem or a Guy capsule. “The first thing that came to my mind was Shakespearean guys and “Song for a Guy” from Elton John,” the designer explained. The team started sketching out all the classic pieces that make up a traditional masculine wardrobe and seasons them with the costumey touch that is a LF trademark. As Forte-Forte has a foothold in Paris, the decision was taken to launch the line at Le Progrès brasserie, where onlookers could mingle with the “poets.” “It was very democratic and kind of a Shakespearean dream,” Scaburri said.
Prior to the presentation, pieces from the collection were posted as flats that were essentially photographic illustrations. This was reflective of the process of developing the garments; it seems there was a lot of working things out by placing them on the floor. Scaburri, who is a big fan of Maison Margiela’s spring 1998 foldable collection, is interested in “the idea of treating garments not only as something that you must wear, but as objects… cool, fashionable, wearable, but also Instagrammable.” Flatness and clothing have been associated in the designer’s mind since childhood when he made his first attempts at making clothes. Plus paper creates a bridge to the medium through which we know Shakespeare’s poems—in print.
The number of pieces in the capsule matches the number of sonnets—18. Additionally the team focused on the 18th sonnet, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” the rationale is that these clothes are designed for autumn, a season that also looks back at sunny days past. “I’m obsessed with connections, so I really like these things talking one to each other,” the designer enthused.
Speaking of retrospective views, Scaburri personally reads the sonnet as being progressive. “When I think of Shakespeare, I think of someone writing sonnets to a “fair youth” in a time when you couldn’t have a gay relationship.” [Scholars are split on the Bard’s sexual orientation.] “Shakespeare couldn’t have a relationship with this guy and be with him for eternity by having children, [but he could] another way, through poetry, by putting the “fair youth’s” name, face, and his description on paper for eternity.” Print matters—whether bound in a book or cut into pattern pieces.
Those wanting to add something lyrical to their wardrobes can shop the capsule of one-off pieces at the Forte-Forte shop in Paris.