Massimo Giorgetti: Spring/Summer 2016
Who doesn’t enjoy a spot of fun in fashion? True to form, Massimo Giorgetti delivers it in spades throughout MSGM’s Spring/Summer ’16 collection.
Italy may have been on the wrong side of history in World War II but little did we know in less than two decades, they would have achieved world domination somewhere else – in all fields of design. The highlight of Italian design history must be its radical design movement (which reached its zenith for about a decade in the ’60s), an era of rebellion against the establishment that birthed the eye popping work of Alessandro Mendini and Ettore Sottsass. You would spot the quirk of Italian radical design almost everywhere, from automobiles to household appliances – except in fashion.
Unlike industrial design, Italy’s tradition in textile weaving and dressmaking began in the 19th century. Ironically, Italy’s lack of formal design programmes in early history was the catalyst that sparked creativity out of the most unlikely architects, who had received theorised and technical education for most of their lives. So, unlike its history with industrial design, Italian fashion was built upon tradition and not rebellion. Despite all its glory, Milan has been critiqued by some to be conservative, and lacking in creativity and innovation.
In 2009, at the brink of a financial crisis, the market was hard-pressed for “cheap chic”. Massimo Giorgetti seized the opportunity to inject some new Italian quirk into fashion – by way of MSGM, the first and only contemporary label in Italy then. Giorgetti is quite the unlikely hero, with no formal education in fashion. In fact, he was a career DJ and, at the same time, a consultant for various fashion labels. Therein lies the twist: those we now hail as the Italian masters of industrial design were also underdogs who only produced boring, technical, architectural drawings, nothing radical or eye-popping.
In an interview in 2013, Giorgetti explained that “MSGM was born out of music”, pointing to the fact that the brand’s logo and name resonated both with the band MGMT and the album art of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida. When the initial concept for MSGM came about in 2009, Giorgetti recounted that he “wanted to try something that would be very strong, very colourful, and very happy”. To that end, one word sums it up: Fun. Indeed, each collection by Giorgetti has since been nothing short of mirthful. This Spring/Summer ’16 collection is no different.
This season, Giorgetti has plenty of joy morphing today’s street grunge and the ’70s skater into an androgynous mix of fabrics, colors and graphics, while retaining an element of femininity and sensuality. This collection, in particular, shows Giorgetti being innovative and skilled, with his manipulation of mixed materials, liberal use of chains to create 3D geometric patterns, and his ability to sculpt the form and silhouette of a dress. The looks across the collection are dynamic, ranging from heavy and dark, toeing the edge of grunge, to possibly a schoolgirl who wandered into a skate park under a bridge by accident.
One thing’s for sure: Giorgetti is a maverick in Milan riding on the coattails of the global success of contemporary brands that have overtaken secondary or diffusion lines of big fashion houses. And, boy, is he having a whole lot of fun while at it.
Text by Richard Lam
This story was first published in L’Officiel Singapore.