Villa Necchi Campiglio is becoming synonymous with Tod’s fashion presentations to such a degree that a change of location would probably ignite an insurrection. Beyond being a stunning piece of modernist architecture, its racé atmosphere is in tune with Walter Chiapponi’s reframing of the label’s codes.
The spring collection was presented in the villa’s lush, glass-ceilinged conservatory, set up as a chic lounge. Called An Italian Garden, it was Chiapponi’s most concise, terse menswear proposition to date. Silhouettes were lean and neat, “as if trapped in a Michelangelo Antonioni movie,” said the designer at a preview. Everything superfluous was stripped down to a “severe elegance with just a twist of casual ease,” he added.
Only unobtrusive geometric motifs, “almost like shadows,” were introduced to break the essentiality that Chiapponi believes resonates with the pursuit of clarity and honesty our times call for. “Everything in the collection takes on a sharper attitude, more focused and considered,” he offered.
Casualwear—cabans, sporty cropped blousons, anoraks—was infused with a certain formality; complementing the look, sneakers were replaced by more soigné options, referencing the tradition of soft, elegant Italian shoes. Leather alternated with high-end, mostly natural fabrications; colors were toned down to slightly cooler shades. “There’s a sort of precision in the collection that can feel cold but is actually rather chic,” said Chiapponi. “Being essential is the only way to get straight to the heart of things.”