In the words of Walter Chiapponi, his last collection as creative director of Tod’s was his most personal. It was also one of his best.
There were elements of his youth, including a cropped multicolored hand-crocheted sweater similar to one he wore as a child, and the show was held in a location “very dear” to Chiapponi — the Laboratori Scala Ansaldo, where the imaginative sets of the La Scala theater are created, as he confessed he wanted to be a sculptor as a young art student.
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Tod’s is a member of the theater’s foundation and several artisans were seen working on the brand’s leather goods at tables set up near the stage props for the “Don Carlos” production, which will premiere at La Scala in December — also all handmade, in a celebration of Italian craftsmanship.
“Nothing is what it seems to be,” said Chiapponi, speaking of the patchwork bicolor pleated skirts or the shirts that looked like jackets.
Shapes were fluid, collarless jackets were light and deconstructed and pleated pants were ample. Poplin T-shirts with kimono sleeves and linen gauze shirt dresses were breezy and practical. The waist was accented only by a new accessory, a large multipurpose belt. “I like these contradictions,” said Chiapponi, admitting a vague ‘90s mood ran through the collection.
The natural color palette was broken up by touches of lime and light periwinkle. “I have personally evolved over the years as has the Tod’s brand, and its woman now is less romantic and more self-aware,” said the designer.
Trenches were also very light in sheer fabrics or leather — Tod’s core expertise, also exemplified by a soft napa blouson. Chiapponi presented a new woven sandal, as well as Tod’s signature ballerinas and mocassins, and introduced a structured and geometric T-Box bag in polished leather with a metal T fastening.
As for Chiapponi’s next steps, he said he would be leaving for a three-month stay in Uganda with a non-profit organization focused on the protection of children.
Launch Gallery: Tod’s RTW Spring 2024
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