Andrea Pompilio Spring 2017 Menswear
It was in 1998 when, following a (pretty amazing) first gig assisting Neil Barrett at Prada, 20-ish Andrea Pompilio took his first trip to New York to improve his English and eventually land a position at Calvin Klein. He had limited funds: Back then, Alphabet City was still a congenial neighborhood for the economically challenged, so he rented a place there.
“For me, everything was very new. And I was so impressed by the people who lived in that area. It was such a mix. I still remember these people who were dressed in a crazy, bold way; cowboy boots mixed with pin-striped pants and synthetic polos, the huge chains and all the rings, the colored sunglasses. You can imagine, I was coming from Prada where everything was perfect and everything was black or brown, so the effect was very powerful.”
Like those powerfully styled inspirational New Yorkers, this collection made impactful virtue of disjunctively unconventional combinations. A tailored, grainily textured cotton jacket in a check of navy and khaki got along fine with its sportswear-sourced ribboned-on-ribbing baseball jacket sleeve. A white-on-blue shadow-striped shirt was oversize and featured a raw unfolded collar. A jacket bodied in tight houndstooth and armed in check had its insides pulled out—the internal pockets and sleeve construction were on the exterior of the garment.
A nylon blouson with his seasonal triangle-strafed stripe detail at the chest was Pompilio’s take on the K-Way. He hauled the trucker jacket into new territory by building it left-handed, and making it tricolored, also in nylon. A great fabrication was his inside-outside intarsia of denim stripes. Jeans were washed to appear lighter at the front than the back, as if some wearer had already spent many hours facing the sun.
Baggy chambray and both-sides denim pants were tethered by drawstring. They flowered out at the thigh, then tapered in again toward the ankle. While photographed worn high in his lookbook—“Because it seems more ’90s”—Pompilio sported them slung low in his showroom. To be able to turn this designer’s clothes inside out and catch all the witty little asides he delivers via detail was much more satisfying than seeing them on the runway would have been. Pomplio said: “I’m always attracted to people with bad taste more than people with good taste. Because it is people with bad taste who are gong to surprise you more.” While Pompilio is not one of those people—quite the opposite—this fine collection was stuffed with look-again detail and delicately delivered jest.