After last season's debut at Pitti Uomo in Florence, Marcelo Burlon stages his first show in Milano. The homecoming triggers a far-stretching journey that starts in Patagonia - complete with Malambo dancers performing with boladoreas - and ends up with a bold vision of the future, all the while defining an iconography that is firmly rooted in the moment. The patchwork of symbols and visuals is the byword: in Marcelo's unique world gauchos are spacemen and the urban jungle is a territory of endless adventures to be fronted as part of a posse, like Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid, the outlaws of the Wild Bunch who escaped in Patagonia for a while. It is exactly this sense of belonging that makes County of Milan something more than just a fashion label.
The collection is visually assertive. Striving on the power of collage, clashes and unprecedented associations, functional shapes are charged up with striking prints and mixes of different materials. The performance/utility element - multiple pockets, tool belts, protective padding on capes and parkas - is merged with traditional shapes like ponchos, gaucho pants and bombacha trousers. Roots are high on the agenda, so much so that an ape - the ancestor of the human gender as a whole - is the protagonist of a new print, or the embroidered hero on the varsity jacket. Fading pixel patterns, embroideries, patchworks and space-age motifs give a powerful makeover to urban staples such as sweatshirts, tailored skinny trousers, t-shirts and backpacks. Searching for roots also means an urge for authenticity that translates into new collaborations: flight jackets are developed with Alpha Industries, field-jackets and blankets with Pendleton, utilitarian boots with Solovair. A graphic palette of black, red and white makes the message sharp and effective, while intense craft gives pieces a tactile feel.
The statement is further highlighted by the collaboration with Marcolin on a series of iconic style of glasses: an unprecedented leather aviator - complete with neoprene strap and leather pouch - an acetate style printed on the inside and prescription style with a mirrored clip-on for sun protection, presented in an embossed leather case.
By re-appropriating his very own history and putting it into a new context, Marcelo Burlon continues forging a precise vision of contemporary style, at once fearless and soulful.