the new random identities collection contains a tribute to rei kawakubo
Stefano Pilati’s third drop for the Berlin menswear label draws on his tailoring heritage.
“To do a collection is to communicate something in a language... a visual language, a tangible concrete language, or a formal language…” Stefano Pilati told i-D in his cover interview back in 2008. “It's constant research. I always want to do something off-balance.” At the time he was creative director of Saint Laurent, where he spent eight years helping elevate the Parisian house to a global commercial force, before stepping down in 2012, ushering in the Hedi Slimane era. Stefano headed to Ermenegildo Zegna -- the largest menswear brand in the world by revenue, producing suits for the likes of Gucci, Saint Laurent and Tom Ford on top of its own line.
He stepped down in 2015, sparking rumours he’d be replacing Alber Elbaz at Lanvin in the process. But following a period off the radar living in Berlin, Stefano took a markedly different step when he returned to the fold, launching his own reasonably-priced, menswear label -- Random Identities. Of all the designs he’s created over his illustrious career, this is surely a brand with the “off-balance” ethos most at its core. Both his debut and sophomore collection crafted fluid shapes and youthful silhouettes that felt intuitive, intelligent and new, without being priced out of the hands of the people the collections take inspiration from.
Now, on the back of these two successful releases, for his latest drop Stefano is dusting-off his razor-sharp cutting skills to create something much more formal, entitling the collection “Tailoring”. If one defining trend has emerged across this season’s show, it’s tailoring. Pushing back against the tide of streetwear that dominated catwalks for the past few seasons, at the autumn/winter 19 menswear shows in January, big dogs like Celine, Louis Vuitton, Dior all presented fresh interpretations on the suit, while at womenswear shows the brands known for luxe-street crossovers, like Eckhaus Latta, Gucci, Balenciaga, gravitated towards something a little more buttoned-up.
“Random Identities’ third release focuses on tailoring, a category intrinsic to the brand due to my experience and my own foundations,” Stefano explains in a statement accompanying the new collection. “I did the collection in black: essential, effective and as the last conservative way to not compromise the rigorous formality of wearing ‘no-colour’ during the wintertime.” Oversized coats, high waistlines, wide-legs, double-pleated front pants, accessorised with mesh masks, chains and thick high-heeled boots -- this is formalwear that could withstand 12-hours in a Berlin club. “The blazer proposed in its 80s volume is a ‘tribute’ to Rei Kawakubo, it has never been so perfect. Part of my wardrobe, and being one of my favourite items, I could not resist to share its relevance.”
Dropping today at Dover Street Market and SSENSE, here Jakob Landvik shoots model David Jainz and dancer MJ Harper, who was previously shot for by Tim Walker for i-D’s Creativity Issue, wearing the Tailoring collection.
Photography Jakob Landvik
Stylist Marquet K Lee
Hair and make-up Kenny Campbell
Lighting assistant Jean-Paul Pastor Guzman
Models MJ Harper and David Jainz and Iconic.
Casting and production RIstudioberlin.
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.