Ask any designer what garments are most difficult to design, the awe-inspiring and avant-grade show stoppers or the everyday staple pieces, and he or she will most likely say that the plain basics give them most trouble. Getting staple pieces right is tricky as there’s not much you can do to further them. It’s unfair to say that Alexandre Mattiussi, the AMI
designer, only designs wardrobe staples but his brand is definitely anchored in the wearability of everyday garments. That’s not a criticism, it’s praise. To be able to design and show that twice a year is a skill. So far AMI has been a presentation brand for those very reasons and it worked very well. For Spring/Summer 2015, Mattiussi took a step out on to the catwalk, which shows confidence – he really believes in the clothes. And he should; the pieces – anoraks and cut-off denim jackets mixed with polo shirts and leather bomber jackets – are solid sartorial statements.
As a safety net, Mattiussi added a score of kids that ran in screaming to kick off the show. They weren’t there to distract from the show but, rather, to add an element of showmanship to AMI. It worked in the sense that they contributed energy to the show. The collection was good enough to stand on its own but the show benefitted from this burst of intensity and emotion. AMI’s stripy suits and the slight ’90s silhouette also made sense in conjunction with the kids, as Mattiussi looked towards youth culture as a source of inspiration.
Looking around myself in the show benches, what people were wearing – if not actual AMI garments – was very much in synch with what we saw on the catwalk. Wearable yet directional, crack that formula and you’re on to something.
What was the general idea and starting point for the collection?
It offers a fresh perception of the wardrobe, the design from the beginning aimed to make it a little bit more younger, a little but more dynamic, more colorful, more simple in a way. Everything is more clean and minimalist and I just wanted to bring youth to the collection because from the very beginning we aimed at a 30 – 35 year old guy.
What inspired you?
American TV shows like Saved by the Bell and Beverly Hills 90210, as well as the French TV series Premiers Baisers.
So you’re coming down in age, how was that visible? In what pieces?
The windbreakers, the jeans, the trainers, there was more T-shirts – I was just trying to push the limits.
What about the kids, who were they?
We wanted to have kids but in the beginning we wanted a choir. It was really hard to make them work on a song in such a small amount of time, so we just had them participate in the show…
Are they from the school where you are showing?
Actually some of them are from Lycée Carnot, yes.