Upstairs in the Kiton palazzo, past the beautiful vintage style chrome-finish bicycle that has sat for several seasons in the hallway apparently never ridden, awaited a vast array of impeccably made menswear waiting to be worn. It was were laid out under a sign the declared “day by day, step by step, door to door, we never stop” but CEO Antonio de Matteis ruefully conceded that the house’s usual rhythm of trunk shows has pretty much ground to a halt, for obvious reasons. “But we are optimistic because after a year-and-a-half of sitting on the sofa we think the world is coming back,” he added. “But maybe it is coming back in a different way, and this thinking is what has stimulated the collection.”
Kiton has long presented a broad spectrum of luxury casual wear and highly functional sportswear alongside the industrially perfected deconstructed Neapolitan tailoring for which it is famed. This season, however, the blending of and blurring between those categories felt less dutiful aside and more urgent recognition that the parameters of dressing are rapidly changing.
For Kiton, that’s not necessarily bad news: the soft-shouldered southern style of Italian tailoring of which it is a specialist is better suited to the flexible future than many other varieties of the form, and here the house’s merchandisers mixed its meltingly soft jackets in cashmere and vicuna with hooded floral shirts, fur-lined half-zips, camouflage hoodies—pretty much everything except a tie. The emphasis on deformalisation was underlined by an all-vicuna rail—spun by Kiton’s own Barbera mill—that presented this noblest (and softest) of yarns on forms once considered ignoble, including a puffer gilet and even a pair of slides. On another rail a beautiful cable-knit blanket in pearl gray was partnered with a matching three-quarter length cardigan to offer effortless co-ordination for those disinclined to leave the sofa quite yet. The formality of traditional leather shoe styles was undercut by house-branding red stitching at the welt, while sneaker uppers spun in cashmere and wool were given a sartorial significance via houndstooth patterning.
Downstairs Antonio’s twin sons Mariano and Walter were showing their KNT line, which has expanded dramatically in the last few years from sportswear-inflected suiting to a much broader line of Kiton contemporaneity. The camo cashmere overshirts were especially fine. Once those trunk shows start picking up again, Kiton will have plenty of promisingly progressive pieces with which to fill them.