‘Jacob Cohën is a very elegant brand, but it required that kick to move into the fashion world,’ artistic director and president Jennifer Tommasi Bardelle told Wallpaper* earlier this year of her decision to collaborate with – and later appoint as head of women’s collections – American designer Matthew Adams Dolan. Having run his eponymous label from New York, he is perhaps best known for his link with Rihanna, collaborating with the musician on her LVMH-backed Fenty fashion label.
Yesterday (21 September 2023), as part of Milan Fashion Week S/S 2024, Dolan held his first physical presentation for the label, showing a S/S 2024 womenswear collection in a unique location: the Milan studio of Italian artist Luca Pignatelli. Pignatelli (born 1962) is known for his intricate large-scale images which often feature elements of handcraft – one image of a city’s skyline is adorned with hanging pocket watches – though the sparse, warehouse-style studio itself, found in Milan’s former industrial district, has the feeling of a New York loft.
Jacob Cohën by Matthew Adams Dolan S/S 2024
As such, Tommasi Bardelle, who collaborated with Dolan on the collection and was there to support, felt the space captured the spirit behind their own partnership – part wardrobe for urban city living, part expression of Italian artisanship (Jacob Cohën is renowned for creating some of the world’s best denim, all made in Italy).
‘[It is] a special location,’ read the collection’s accompanying blurb. ‘It is Milanese, but has a distinctly international look. A touch of New York, in a space that blends together fashion and art.’
Models lounged around the studio – lying on furniture or flicking through books in the artist’s expansive floor-to-ceiling library – which the organisers said had not been used for a fashion presentation before (a rare occurrence for Milan Fashion Week, where show locations are usually familiar season on season). The collection itself was befitting the setting’s low-key mood: a crisp white shirt was worn with blue jeans with a simple wraparound detail (as if a denim scarf had been loosely tied around the waist), while a lightweight zip-up utility jacket and matching trousers came in matching denim with a gentle fade.
Colours reflected the brightness of the space – it is lit with a series of windows across the roof – with crisp whites and ‘citrussy’ shades of lime. Dolan noted inspiration from the 1980s for the collection – an era which has long fascinated the designer – here evoked in wide-shouldered tailoring and overcoats, or sporty split-seam shorts crafted in denim.
‘I’ve always been drawn to the idea of denim being this democratic part of your wardrobe,’ Dolan previously told Wallpaper*. ‘It’s easy to wear, it’s familiar – all these things that continue to draw people to jeans.’
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Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*. Having previously held roles at 10, 10 Men and AnOther magazines, he joined the team in 2022. His work has a particular focus on the moments where fashion and style intersect with other creative disciplines – among them art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and profiling the industry’s leading figures and brands.
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