For his return to Aspesi as creative director, designer Lawrence Steele, who worked at the brand as creative consultant for 13 years until 2017, wanted to be respectful not only of the brand’s heritage of unfussy and practical wardrobe staples, but also to what he had done in the past at the helm of the label. His aim was to update the garments under a cross-generational and genderless lens, which, to him, felt more in tune with the times.
The look: Aspesi is one of those niche labels that the fashion crowd knows so well and taps into for easy pieces with a certain flair. Steele’s spring coed collection elevated the house’s hits — outerwear, as well as shrunken knitwear pieces and casual pants — to great effect.
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Quote of note: “I wanted this collection to be simultaneously in and out of fashion…it’s about spotlighting the undercurrent of clothing, playing with what a garment is and what it looks like, making it feel more intimate,” said Steele, who heavily channeled his penchant for fabrics’ manipulation for spring.
Key pieces: Nylon garment dyed versions of Aspesi’s signature trenchcoats were cut in roomy proportions, exuding a languid feel, as did pleated chino pants, each leg as wide as a tent, to be worn with preppy striped polo shirts; precious silk Prince of Wales blazers looked as if they were made from cocooning wool, an invitation to touch them; a simple column-style cady jacquard dress bearing a 1920s floral motif, the same style petticoat “has been manufactured since forever,” as Steele put it, was chic and refined.
Takeaway: Steele did not come back to his Aspesi family for a complete makeover, rather he managed to elevate the very Milanese spirit of the brand and convey an idea of a discreet, chic lifestyle.
Launch Gallery: Aspesi RTW Spring 2022