Magliano Men’s Fall 2022 Collection
By his own admission, Luchino Magliano is a melancholic nocturnal animal, a disposition that various quarantines have only exacerbated. No wonder his fall collection was tinged with “a lunar quality, a melancholy elegance, a kind of spleen,” he said.
Getting into romantic mode felt like some kind of Byronesque U-turn for Magliano’s usually peacock, brash, and sexual inclinations, but no. Beneath layers of languor, a clash of energies was seemingly raging: “Introspection and loneliness, I really walked through a difficult path,” he says. “But I had to make peace with who I am and what I want to express.” He didn’t exactly call the process cathartic, but what emerged was a desire “for a certain sobriety of style, but no less eccentric.” The leopard does not change its spots so easily.
In terms of wacky references, it’s hard to beat the extraordinary personality of Italian artist and performer Luigi Ontàni, born near Bologna, birthplace of Luchino Magliano, and whose subversive underground culture of the 80s remains a sort of cultural umbilical cord for the designer. Ontàni usually dressed flamboyantly for everyday life in felted pink suits or turquoise pajamas: “He was a vision when he walked in his small hometown, past the cafes where the old people killed time playing cards; he looked like a unicorn,” recalls Magliano, fascinated by the artist’s poetry and the wonder he provoked wherever he went.
To find the same astonishment in the collection, Magliano plays subtly on contrasts, juxtaposing materials such as felted wool (“melancholy, poor and protective fabric and made for carpenters”) with brocades, lurex, silks embroidered with crystals (“nocturnes and lunar, like moonbeams in the dark”). Indulging in her sensual side, they were transformed into tailored suits and spacious, languid outerwear of fluid proportions, worn casually in layers. Oversized blazers were soft and baggy like sweaters or made of padded corduroy “to give the feeling of a hug”, with liners changing into protective anoraks or quilted with eco-fur trims.
As an added layer to the already dense narrative, the show was staged at Milan’s Circolo Arci Bellezza, a cultural space made famous by director Luchino Visconti, who filmed the boxing scene in Rocco and his brothers the. Magliano’s idea of a boxing ring is that of a bed, where dreams and nightmares collide at night. He had a vintage brass version right in the middle of a room, with models walking slowly around it before stepping carelessly across its clean white sheets. A strong image, “gently hitting something pristine with something heavy and raw,” Magliano said. It is better to refrain from overly psychoanalytical interpretations.