In any fashion calendar, it takes guts and resilience to make your name matter. But here at Pitti Uomo, with swathes of the industry's most respected designers having preceded you, paired with the fact that the much sparser schedule means you'll be lingering in people's memories a lot longer, the responsibility is much more palpable.
It does, however, make sense for Aldo Maria Camillo to launch his namesake label (styled ‘ALDOMARIACAMILLO’) here in front of menswear's most discerning voices. He has a lot to live up to: A stint at Cerruti, two at Valentino and a short time spent alongside Haider Ackermann when the Belgian designer had the reins of Berluti. But as someone with so much clout in the fashion sphere, how do you set about making your mark as a stand-alone designer?
Camillo's debut, set in the hollowed out shell or the former Leopolda Train Station (that's now Pitti property), was a complex and finely choreographed show, harnessed by his eye for the slick and sartorial.
Boldly, Camillo lists his spiritual references as Maison Margiela and Helmut Lang in the show notes, recounting a story about how a jacket belonging to his father that he often stole and wore to school shaped his early interest in fashion.
But those references are, of course, purely spiritual, and the garments that make up Camillo's debut collection bear little relevance to the work of those designer's, who exist to play with the usually tight confines of menswear. What this man makes is much cleaner by comparison, but he has practicality, and thus, a wider audience in his favor.
The opening duo descended from an elevator on to the runway wearing matching, double-breasted peacoats. Amongst some pretty flawless tailoring – something Camillo's clearly an old hand at – more casual looks shone through. The sleeves of vests were cut to the abdomen; leather dresses felt light and fluid; workman shirt jackets in white adorned with panels and pockets felt perfect for today's streetwear-shaped fashion buyer.
Camillo is keen to make the notion of his collection's fluidity clear, too. He physically placed male and female models walking side by side in near-identical outfits to make that sense of duality clear.
The closest we got to the vibrant and salacious was a sailor-striped vest paired with crimson boots and some brief flashes of leopard print and red leather. Besides that, the triad of tautly tailored white looks, consisting of trench coats, suit jackets, and pants, felt undeniably elegant.
Menswear feels far more anarchic than the era Camillo is hearkening back to now, but perhaps that's a good thing? A safe, solid start opens doors for more adventurous things. In good time, Camillo will surely find them.