Walter Chiapponi seems to have found his footing at Tod’s; he’s gently steering the label in an upscale direction, inflecting the house’s casual wear codes with a polished and balanced fashion sense. “I’m trying to dignify sportswear, to make it look chic,” he said at a preview.
The spring collection he presented today at Milan’s PAC (Contemporary Art Pavilion) was a play on short, neat, trapeze silhouettes, loosely reminiscent of the ’60s. Being a movie buff, Chiapponi recently gorged on Fellini, Polanski and Mark Robson’s Valley of the Dolls, retaining from the style of that time what he called “the severity and purity of lines, a refusal of decorative indulgence.” He kept shapes neatly outlined, as if designed “with the same tenderness of Fellini’s drawings,” playing with an alternating range of fabrications for variety and counterpoint—on one hand, the crispness of nylon gazar, which gave an airy, ballooning lightness to sporty, round-shaped drawstring anoraks; on the other, the artisanal tactility of raw wool, hand-knitted into short fringed tunics or crocheted into sleeveless minidresses.
Outerwear was svelte and concise, energised by a vital palette of brights—emerald , tangerine, lapis lazuli, amethyst. A-line apron dresses were high-waisted and sharp-pleated, retaining a certain sporty/utilitarian feel, showing plenty of leg for dynamism and pep. Knitwear worked into a bright coloured diamond pattern introduced a punchy “technical decorativism,” as Chiapponi called it. “Everything at Tod’s is firmly anchored around sportswear,” he said. “I certainly don’t think about red carpets. I just want to hybridise it with some stylish gentleness.”
This article was originally published on Vogue.com.