MILAN, ITALY [JANUARY 17, 2015] – Sergio Corneliani dedicated his collection today to a man who behaves like a prince, said the show notes. However, despite a pervasive solemnity and an abundance of blue, there was actually nothing particularly regal going on in the show, which took place in a misty atmosphere around a contorted tree—a nod to deep, complicated family ties, maybe. Nobleness was hidden in the fabrics: tactile wools, grainy cashmeres, ombré mink. Some of them were given a feeling of greater depth by way of needle punching, brushing, or twisting.

A mix of the sartorial with the relaxed is what you generally get at Corneliani, and this collection was no exception. The label has long produced informalized formalwear, something that has been central to the Italian fashion debate for a while. Corneliani proposed a refined take on the topic this season; outerwear, in particular, had an elegant firmness. The long double-breasted coats were the standout pieces, at once protective and aggrandizing, while suit jackets with ribbed shawl collars had an intimate, domestic feel. As a whole, the collection was smooth, if not exactly surprising.

The problem with a show like this is certainly not the pieces, per se; fabrications and the level of execution were top-notch. The drawback is precisely the fact that they are clothes and just that: sent onto the catwalk one look after the other without a particular narrative, and sometimes even with little coherence—practically every possible trouser length was shown at some point. Storytelling is the direction Corneliani should pursue in the future if the label really wants to take a step forward from making clothes, which it does extremely well, to making fashion.

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