There is something surreal about stepping onto the 29th floor of Torre Breda, one of Milan’s few high-rise landmarks, to take in the breathtakingly lofty Brioni Spring/Summer 2024 collection. As your eyes drift over the panoramic view of Italy’s fashion capital, there’s an intriguing parallel between the city’s architectural grandeur and the majestic fashion exhibit – a harmonious blend of sartorial vertigo and the highest echelons of menswear that the city has to offer.
Norbert Stumpfl, the creative mastermind behind Brioni, has not merely designed clothes for this collection, he has crafted an artful narrative in the world of menswear. The evolution of Stumpfl’s approach is evident in his collection. The flamboyant showstoppers of his early years have given way to a style that’s self-assured, yet subtly understated.
Tailoring stands as the heartbeat of Stumpfl’s designs, represented stunningly in a silk cashmere peak-lapeled double-breasted jacket – a piece that is structurally unlined and unstructured, yet beautifully elegant. The jacket’s extended length of the skirt adds to its unique allure. Stumpfl adds to this structural sophistication by interspersing semi-casual, exquisitely designed pieces, such as a tan nubuck duster coat with a crocodile-lined collar, casually buttoned silky shirts, and airy, unpretentious linen pants.
Stumpfl doesn’t hesitate to delve into Brioni’s newly launched womenswear, which finds its home in the brand’s recently revamped stores. The exceptional silk trenches and sleeveless coats exude an air of sophistication. But the designer acknowledges that the true beauty of his designs is revealed with wear. “The clothes look their worst as they are at the moment. Once you wear them in and they look a little bit washed and used, they’re going to acquire the imprint of your personality and look a lot cooler,” Stumpfl reflects, citing his personal nubuck coat, marked with scratches from his poodle Lulu as an example.
This collection weaves an immersive story. From the garden party’s fluidly draped tailored looks to the workmanlike ruggedness of washed cotton ensembles, it culminates with a stroll onto the patch of eveningwear. Here, the wow factor subtly resurfaces, not in an ostentatious show of opulence, but in a more restrained and meticulous craftsmanship. A case in point is the black silk evening jacket, adorned with approximately 40 tufted squares meticulously handcrafted by the house’s Abruzzo artisans – a laborious process, demanding two hours per square.
In the Brioni Spring/Summer 2024 Collection, the spectator is invited to revel in the clothes, not merely as an observer but as a participant in the narrative. As much as Stumpfl’s collection is a tribute to the discerning tastes of its wearers, it’s also a testament to the masterful craftsmanship and the timeless elegance that is the hallmark of the brand.
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