Creatively curated clutter is part of Kean Etro’s MO. However, even he has used the last few months to rationalize his memoir of acquired stuff. That process was then recycled to frame this collection. Speaking just before this digital presentation was filmed, Etro said: “I played with what we did with our wardrobes; clearing out, looking again, rediscovering, mixing things together, cleaning up… This helped me realize what the moment is—it’s an in and out time. I think [in the future] there will be a strong instinct to express yourself individually; to be your own stylist, be your own designer.”
Kean was wearing a green coat recently dug out from some distant corner of his archive that dated back to a 1996 Etro collection titled Tower of Babel, one of his earliest. His remembered archive played a part here, too, in embellished ghillie loafers and pastel cricket sweaters and other bits and bobs he recalled wearing as a schoolboy in Cambridge. Other jackdaw acquisitions included deadstock logo jacquard fabrics used in shirting and molded metal jewelry in which was set cylinders of red mineral that looked like handy portable jade rollers. Both of these were consensually snaffled from his sister Veronica’s womenswear archive.
The weight of references and remembrances made for looks that were sometimes densely layered—green upcycled shirting under a cagoule under a knit cummerbund under a paisley piped suit in Japanese woven houndstooth under a shoulder-robed cashmere coat—and sometimes powerfully competitive: leopard print pants in combat with a matchy-matchy paisley shirt and sweater. Etro extended the studiedly shambolic range of source material from menswear to homewear via quilted paisley outerwear and ponchos in tapestry jacquards. He buttressed his looks with velcro-secured bandoliers of printed leather personal luggage. Punchy “vitamin colors” accented fetching weave-detail sneakers, cable-knit sweater vests and those hand-knit cummerbunds to add beetroot, lime or blueberry jolts to Etro’s multiple-ingredient wearable smoothies. When the models emerged en masse from their runway space into the wintery sunshine on Via Tortona they resembled friends reunited who, unconvinced of exactly what to wear, had instead decided to wear everything they could for the joy of it.