Massimo Alba Spring 2023 Menswear Collection


“Don’t criticize/ What you can’t understand/ Your sons and your daughters/ Are beyond your command/ Your old road is rapidly aging…”. Quoting that great ancient text as an intro betrays my vintage as a Gen Xer with parentally-inherited Boomer references. A shift in the criteria of taste that mostly flummoxes the old and defines the new is a natural byproduct of generational change. Massimo Alba is amongst the minority whose minds are flexible enough to bend when the winds of change are whipped up by a change in the generational climate.

“If you are able to start designing by looking for a better understanding of others instead of imposing your understanding upon others,” said Alba, “then you have the key.”

What unlocked this revelation afresh is that Massimo’s son, Nicolo, is about to turn 18. A few years ago he was a nailed-on hypebeast, whose first stops on a visit to New York were Off-White, Supreme and Kith. Now he and his Milanese contemporaries are maturing into a fresh phase—they’re tailoring curious—but the criteria under which they operate are their own. “It’s nothing to do with elegance. It is certainly about not being this new English word I recently learned: ‘awkward,’” said Alba. Massimo has been using Nicolo and his peers as an informal focus group, inviting them into his studio. “They are super-curious to learn but also they have their own point of view. A lot of it comes from music. And the way Virgil worked has been so influential… I think it is like being a DJ. You propose something and the people dance. But even while they are dancing you have to think of the next piece of music. We need to let the people dance. And because fashion is generally led by old people like me we have to meet with the true protagonists to understand.”

This handsome philosophy translated into a classically-rooted collection designed to be worn irreverently. Bi-color yarned slouchy cardigans, wide necked slub cotton T-shirts, half-sleeve linen polo shirts, garment dyed patch pocketed artists jackets with matching pants—effectively day pajamas—were all versatile pieces. There was a wide range of jackets and suiting in yarn-dyed linen, cotton and silk mixes: precious pieces created in a spirit of unpreciousness. These were beautiful tools for dressing that came free of any of rules.



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