Brioni unveiled its Fall/Winter 2024 collection in a captivating twist that blurred the lines between past and present. The setting? The Circolo Filologico Milanese, a historic library steeped in the nuances of language that perfectly reflects Brioni‘s own dedication to the intricate details of refined tailoring.
Norbert Stumpfl, Brioni’s Artistic director, orchestrated a sartorial symphony in the darkened rooms, each mannequin a silent conductor in a timeless ensemble. Subtle nods to the brand’s rich heritage were scattered throughout, such as a nameplate bearing the initials ‘J.Law‘, a playful nod to Jennifer Lawrence, a recent Brioni collaborator.
But the real magic lay in Stumpfl’s deep dive into the brand’s archives. By unearthing a forgotten chapter, he revealed a fascinating connection: Brioni’s founder, Gaetano Savini, had spent ten years as the assistant and confidant of Mariano Fortuny, a visionary polymath who revolutionised both theatre lighting and women’s couture with his iconic Delphos dress.
This new-found knowledge lit a creative fire in Stumpfl. He saw the echoes of Fortuny’s colour and romanticism in the early Brioni collections that captivated America in the 1950s. This insight became the driving force behind the Fall/Winter 2024 collection, a love letter to Brioni’s heritage reimagined with a contemporary flair.
A pleated evening shirt shimmered with a grosgrain pattern borrowed from the Fortuny archives, courtesy of the designer’s foundation. An evening jacket sparkled with pearlescent sequins reminiscent of Fortuny’s Murano glass mosaics. And a final silk jacket, a bronze masterpiece, echoed the Delphos gown’s signature tight pleats, a premonition of Issey Miyake’s future pleats.
But Stumpfl didn’t just channel the past, he innovated within it. A double-faced jacket in two impossibly light fabrics whispered of craftsmanship, each layer meticulously joined with a surgeon’s scalpel and silken thread. The collection was a symphony of textures and silhouettes, from the crisp lines of a tailored suit to the effortless elegance of seemingly casual pieces.
And then there was a surprise. Amidst the sea of menswear, a group of mannequins emerged, draped in womenswear. This wasn’t just a footnote, it was a bold statement. As Stumpfl unveiled floor-length tuxedo coats and wickedly cut silk-wool trousers, he announced a bombshell: after nearly 80 years, Brioni would present a full womenswear collection at Milan Fashion Week the following month.