MILAN, Italy — Kean Etro, creative director of menswear for the family brand, is an ebullient individual who can't really stop telling stories. It is quite charming each season to meet him backstage and delve into the collection's narrative, sometimes even more than looking at the catwalk with clothes that, more or less, are the same season after season. This time Mr Etro was particularly ebullient and happy: Etro will celebrate its 50th birthday in 2018, but he has already set his mind on the matter. Which means: paisley aplenty — that's the house' logo — vague hints of psychedelia and a healty dose of elegance. After all, Etro is an offspring of the late Sixties, and there is a streak of abandon which remains within the aesthetic.
But Mr Etro is also trying to evolve, thereafter there was an unexpected practical twist to the new collection. Imagine an explorer climbing a mountain in a brocade duvet and you've got the picture. All in all, it looked like something that did not really impact the function of garments. Marrying decadence and performance: now that would be truly progressive.