On hearing the revelation that Porsche produces a line of clothing (it has in various forms since the ’70s), people’s response is almost invariably a baffled, “But what does it look like?” And the answer is almost too obvious: sleek and expensive. This season Porsche Design creative director Thomas Steinbrueck dubbed his show “Zentech” and riffed on elemental Japanese minimalism with a hearty dose of the futuristic. Working with a palette of navy and neutrals, he topped his outerwear with obi belts; those obis even subbed in on occasion as tube tops, teamed with flowing, high-waisted trousers. To balance out airy shapes, there were shiny, sculpted vests and figure-hugging shell tops with plunging necklines. But like Occam’s razor, in some cases Steinbrueck’s simplest solutions were his most successful, as with an exquisitely draped maxi shirtdress in navy washed silk, or asymmetrical, off-the-shoulder tops in buttery leather.
For men, Steinbrueck conjured up cargo jackets teamed with crisp, collarless white shirts; baggy shorts; and handsome ribbed knits. One white pullover, sheer except for some sporty paneling, was admittedly less wearable than some of the pieces that bookended it, but had a certain techy richness. The collection on the whole was full of winning, elegant propositions. In a couple of places the clothes felt a little bloodless—so lean and luxe as to seem standoffish, like a chilly beauty just out of reach. But my, isn’t she lovely.