PAST, PRE­SENT, FU­TURE

Guil­laume Meil­land, Sal­va­tore Fer­rag­amo’s new De­sign Di­rec­tor of Men’s Ready-to-wear, reaf­firms the house code with his de­but col­lec­tion.

Esquire (Malaysia) - - STYLE - WORDS BY IAN LOH

As fash­ion de­sign­ers en­gage in yet an­other round of mu­si­cal chairs, this sea­son, we wit­ness some no­table de­buts, such as Raf Si­mons at Calvin Klein, Haider Ack­er­mann at Ber­luti and Alessan­dro Sar­tori at Ermenegildo Zegna.

While he might be the least well­known of the quar­tet, at 34, Guil­laume Meil­land’s ré­sumé reads much older than his age. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from ESMOD Paris, he be­gan his fash­ion ca­reer at Louis Vuit­ton be­fore join­ing Ste­fano Pi­lati at Yves Saint Laurent, where he led the sports­wear depart­ment. Af­ter a short stint, he took the po­si­tion of Se­nior De­signer of Lan­vin Menswear, work­ing along­side Lu­cas Ossendri­jver for about eight years.

Meil­land’s ap­point­ment as De­sign Di­rec­tor of Men’s Ready-to-wear also marks the com­ple­tion of Fer­rag­amo’s cre­ative over­haul that has seen the re­cruit­ment of Paul An­drew as De­sign Di­rec­tor of Women’s Footwear and Ful­vio Rigoni as De­sign Di­rec­tor of Women’s Ready-to-wear.

“As a menswear de­signer, Fer­rag­amo’s com­mit­ment to in­no­va­tion and qual­ity is par­tic­u­larly pal­pa­ble; in­deed, the no­tion of ‘Made in Italy’ feels like an ex­cit­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity, and one I take very se­ri­ously as I in­te­grate the ex­pe­ri­ences and the ideas I’ve ac­cu­mu­lated into this lat­est chap­ter for the House,” Meil­land says in a press state­ment.

For his de­but col­lec­tion, Meil­land of­fers looks that stay true to the house’s lux­ury roots yet demon­strate ev­ery in­ten­tion of mov­ing for­ward. He re­works the tailor­ing by short­en­ing jacket pro­por­tions and nar­row­ing trousers, and ex­per­i­ments with sil­hou­ettes by play­ing with vol­ume and elon­gat­ing out­er­wear, with a fo­cus on cash­mere knitwear in hazy, muted tones. In a sea­son of lo­go­ma­nia, Meil­land’s take on the modern Fer­rag­amo man is taste­ful and sar­to­ri­ally-pol­ished.

Tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from Sal­va­tore Fer­rag­amo him­self, Meil­land says, “As I dis­cover quite how dar­ing he was through­out his ca­reer, my great­est in­spi­ra­tion has been to imag­ine what forms, tech­niques, ma­te­ri­als and philoso­phies Sal­va­tore would be de­vel­op­ing were he alive to­day. To hon­our his legacy feels like a won­der­ful chal­lenge for some­one whose own life has been steeped in both a deep re­spect for tra­di­tional craft and a pas­sion for cre­at­ing new sar­to­rial ex­pres­sions for the modern man.”

By fus­ing the codes of the past with his vi­sion of the fu­ture, Meil­land’s ten­ure is off to a solid start.

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