Ami Spring 2021 Menswear Collection

“Doing a physical show is a kind of political thing,” says Ami’s Alexandre Mattiussi, elaborating that amid the pandemic and crumbling political situations around the world, he thinks “fashion needs to find humility in the situation.” The Ami version of humility might sound quite dramatic: Beside the Seine in the quatrième, Mattiussi held a fashion show on a black wood runway complete with a soundtrack by DJ Jennifer Cardini and a cast of famous models like Clement Chabernaud, Amalia Vairelli, Audrey Marnay, and Georgina Grenville. Its existence, at 8 p.m. on a cloudy Paris night, was both a risk—COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in Paris—and celebratory, an homage to the city’s deep relationship with and love of fashion.

To counter the exuberance of the affair, Matiussi sent out clothing with a relaxed spirit. He described his spring 2021 men’s and women’s collections as “sophisticated but not pretentious.” The slim plaid maxiskirts and black wool LBDs proved the point for women, the louche seafoam and chocolate suits and baggy shorts did it for men. A series of mesh tanks, styled throughout with vacation-y beaded necklaces, emphasized the chill vibes.

But so much comfy, slouchy, pleasant clothing can be done a disservice by such a flashy show format. Mattiussi’s clothing is quite elegant in its form and fit—see Vairelli’s white wool midi—but perhaps a more intimate show would have helped showcase the craftsmanship and care that went into the collection. During Paris’s lockdown, the designer went into his studio alone, connecting with his 160 employees online to make the garments come to life. This collection is a testament to their ability to collaborate as a team and make it through one of the toughest times. Peeling back the curtain on that process might have helped the clothes really shine.

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