Yesterday afternoon, we finally made our way to Agnona’s pop-up–and soon to be permanent home–on Milan’s chic Via Sant’Andrea (next door to Prada) to see Stefano Pilati’s eagerly-anticipated, already for sale, womenswear debut for Agnona.
As reported, the collection, titled Collection 0, became available to purchase in Milan on Wednesday, the same day it was first unveiled to press. And overall, Pilati’s vision for the brand is a strong statement against the fashion cycle, and the fact that, for the past three weeks, we’ve been looking at clothes that won’t hit stores for another six months.
The concept references Group Zero, a European art movement established during Agnona’s formative years in the late ’50s, which embraced rejecting the framework of traditional ways of revealing art in galleries. In the future, collections won’t have typical season names but be called, “One,” “Two,” etc. But the idea is that the line will be continuous, with new items added in as Pilati sees fit/comes up with them. The brand is currently working with retailers on aligning delivery dates with the new vision. We’re told collections with be in stores longer than is typical.
The debut collection hung on racks, as one would in a store, and the clothes seemed to be more about developing Agnona as a brand than making any big fashion statements. Pilati started with outerwear and double-faced cashmere pieces, since that’s what people are actually buying now, as the temperatures start to dip. To me, those were the highlights of the collection. We particularly loved a couple of cashmere coats in light yellow plaid–a print that is to become an Agnona signature. It was also seen throughout the collection in a splotchy print.
There was a sporty, somewhat masculine feel to the collection as well, seen in boxy, menswear-inspired jackets and anoraks; light suiting, simple leather sandals that looked like something Pilati himself might wear, and a boatneck sweater with “1953,” the year Agnona launched, emblazoned on the front.
There were dresses, too–mostly belted, with asymmetrical hemlines in the aforementioned plaid print, or delicate florals.
But just because (most of) the clothes and the delivery system are meant to be more practical, doesn’t mean the prices are: This is still an Italian luxury brand, and the prices reflect that. A fairly simple dress, for instance, will set you back $1,500.
And Pilati’s not breaking every every fashion industry rule: There’s an ad campaign, shot by Inez & Vindoodh; and there was a bit of showmanship and whimsy in the form of a lamb. On one side of the pop-up, mannequins with lamb legs wore looks from the collection. And the above lamb photo hung one on of the walls. (According to a release, his name is Matthew.)
We’re told the lamb is meant to represent the brand’s rebirth–a reminder that Pilati has only just gotten started.
Click through to see the full collection.
Agnona by Stefano Pilati will be available at Agnona Boutique in Miami, Bergdorf Goodman, and Neiman Marcus.