The stars seem to be aligning at Loro Piana, which presented men and women together for the first time on Friday in central Milan.
Unveiled inside a swish show-space on the elegant Piazza Cordusio, the collection also smartly underlined the remarkable quality of Loro Piana’s raw materials, and a more coherent design.
“It’s all about the silhouette and making a clear statement,” explained CEO Damien Bertrand, noting the similarities between men’s and women’s cuts and lines.
The brand’s key material is cashmere so, wisely, their design team concentrated on creating softer shouldered garments – presenting an entire wardrobe, on a rolling ridge of a set. No live models – which would have made the point of view stronger – but two scores of polished looks presented on mannequins.
Also highlighting some great fabric innovations – like weaving linen – and not technical threads – with wool and cashmere, to impart a subtler hand and greater surface interest to herring bone coats and jodhpurs.
Loro Piana will always be about discreet elegance – best seen in its supple pea-coats for men and women. Or some surprising new denim jackets, with cashmere in the weft, where the brand name is written minutely on the side of the buttons.
The house has also stepped back into men’s tailoring – offering more structured suits and jackets, with canvas interiors, made in gentlemanly chalk stripes.
In accessories, it unveiled a cool new bag The Bale, named after the shapes of the bales of cashmere that Loro Piana receives from Mongolia, and cleverly largely free of mechanical parts.
Raw cashmere itself was displayed in an upstairs installation, like a mighty work of soft sculpture, in a series of rooms that included a wall-to-wall video visually explaining the whole process of spinning – which is where the Loro Piana first began. Before creating its first fashion items – the most coveted cashmere scarves in Italy – in the early 1980s.
“We really wanted to emphasize the heritage. Which is why the installation is important,” added Bertrand, who took over at Loro Piana one year ago after six years at another famous LVMH marque, Dior Couture.
Underlining the brand’s obsession with uber quality, Bertrand keeps three strands of wool in his transparent iPhone cover. He picked them up last year in Australia, visiting the top-notch wool farmers who supply the Italian brand.
“It’s a reminded of our DNA, and how much wools can differ,” smiled the CEO.
All told, after several years during which LVMH seemed to grapple with what exactly to do with Loro Piana, the strategy and the silhouette now looks rather in synch.
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