Puffer Gowns by Pierpaolo Piccioli & Liya Kebede for Moncler Genius.
Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli has collaborated with Moncler for the second time, in the latest instalment of the brand’s 12-part Genius series. For this series, prominent fashion designers are invited to create a capsule collection based on their interpretation of the iconic Moncler down jacket, with a new collection dropping each month for a year.
For the third edition of the series, Piccioli recruited Ethiopian model and founder of lemlem brand Liya Kebede to help design a collection of voluminous nylon lacque gowns in a couture rendition of the outerwear material.
Each gown is distinct in colour and form. Some have dramatic, bulging hoods that swamp the models’ upper bodies. Others are cinched at the waist, flowing extravagantly to the floor. A shiny black gown with an off-shoulder silhouette that ties in an oversized bow could be easily pictured on a Disney evil queen – in the best possible, badass way. We’d opt to wear it in a snowstorm any day.
Kebede’s artisanal bohemian influence is evident in the stripe patterned trim details inspired by traditional African textiles, which she champions at lemlem by commissioning handmade clothing from various craftspeople in Ethiopia and throughout Africa. Her input is a testament to the richness and vibrancy that comes from combining unexpected cultural aesthetics and an encouraging reminder of limitlessness in creativity.
Presenting the collection in a grand Baroque villa just outside of Milan gave a regal edge to the designs, reminiscent of cumbersome Renaissance era gowns combined with the futuristic sheen of nylon lacque. The bold, colour-blocked designs juxtapose faded pastel wallpaper and intricate cornices in each room. The overall impact is a little unsettling, but in a way that keeps you engaged.