'It's an interpretation of Canali through my eyes,' said Andrea Pompilio backstage after his debut as creative consultant for the 80-year-old Milan-based menswear brand. Pompilio's eyes have been rigorously focused at high-end establishments such as Prada, Calvin Klein and Saint Laurent before he launched his own brand in 2010. The Pesaro-born designer, one of Milan's most promising, is known for his fierce colour and playful twists on fashionable sportswear - signatures that he deftly wove into Canali's classicism.
The show was heavy on the tailoring that makes up the meat and potatoes of Canali's business, but it was treated with a soft, light hand. Chino pants were pressed to look like proper trousers. Suits were broken up into their separate components and dusted with thin window check patterns or diamond jacquards and then poured over with cool-kid extras. Pants featured narrow, deep cuffs, eyewear was black and bulky, heads were topped off with grandpa's cotton twill fisherman hats and at one point, sockless slip sneakers gave way to running shoes worn with white socks. Pairing belted tailored shorts with buttoned-up collared shirts and jackets, the look took an extreme side of norm-core dressing but managed to stay fashionably relevant. 'Canali has changed over the last few seasons but now they just needed someone to give them a push,' explained Pompilio of his fresh touches.
Another push happened at the very start of the show when the designer showed a series of duster coats and boxy jackets with trim pants crafted from a butter coloured waterproof silk linen. 'If you open the jackets, it's unbelievable - they are all taped like a Macintosh,' said Pompilio. 'For me, [the idea] was to bring everything this company is doing in jacket and pants - so the treatment and the 200 steps that the factory uses to make a sartorial jacket - and to take this and translate it into sportswear.'