ERL blasts Pitti Uomo with galactic show
Eli Russel Linnetz stirred up enthusiasm with a joyful fashion show Thursday evening in Florence, mixing Hollywood cinema, crazy Californian surfers, science fiction, opera and the Renaissance. A special guest at Pitti Uomo, the eclectic designer, who comes from Venice Beach in Los Angeles, had all the elements in hand to tell a good story and, in the process, unveil his label ERL's Spring-Summer 2024 collection, with some chic and very cool looks that were both futuristic and couture, with a lunar sheen.
The story? It's the year 2176. The planet is submerged under water. A group of surfers from Venice Beach arrive in Florence, now famous for its super waves. They find themselves in a sumptuous Baroque palazzo, in this case the Palazzo Corsini on the banks of the Arno, where they discover an opulent clothing collection that has fallen into oblivion. Our beautiful surfers are transformed into Renaissance Princes wearing galactic clothing, with a collection that is both elegant and glamorous, in a mineral palette of very light or very dark grays with metallic and silver touches.
The sound of waves, flashes of strobe lights, a few electric guitar chords, and off they went to a seventies rock soundtrack. The backdrop was not a green screen, but a sort of neon-yellow movie set. The models walked through the space, sometimes with a rockstar attitude, but always with that nonchalant Californian grace. They looked stunning in iridescent taffeta and moiré silk ensembles, shiny dark suits or herringbone patterned silk blends with a wet, light-reflecting effect.
Shirts with oversized pointed collars are covered in sequins, like silver polka dots on a black background, as are pants with giant elephant feet, gloves and top hats. Some donned tuxedos extending elegantly down the back, as well as pearl-trimmed formal wear with large jackets embellished with fringed epaulettes and military details. Others styled their pants with crystal-riven chains. One model was even carrying an old medieval shield! And for jewelry they wore chokers by Tom Binns.
An opera aficionado, the jack-of-all-trades photographer, designer and creative director, who sang in a lyric choir in his youth, carried out extensive research, delving into the archives of the Los Angeles Opera and those of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino theater, drawing inspiration from the costumes. He also studied the fabrics and materials in the archives of the historic Florentine theater La Pergola. This research is reflected in the choice of brocades and damask fabrics used to tailor the collection's most exquisite couture pieces.
"Everything I do is authentic and organic. I've tried to create connections between my roots and Florentine culture. I love collages, mixing pieces found at flea markets, second-hand with recycled clothing," explains backstage Eli Russel Linnetz, who first made a name for himself in the music industry via projects with, among others, Kanye West and Lady Gaga, before being spotted by Rei Kawakubo and Adrian Joffe of Dover Street Market. Following a collaboration with the young Californian in November 2018, the duo pushed him to explore the world of fashion and take a leap by launching the first collection of ready-to-wear brand ERL in their Parisian concept store in 2020. With its cool Californian spirit, the label quickly became successful and now boasts 300 retailers in the fashion world.
Hollywood and cinematic influences are undeniably present in his universe. One of the mischievous designer's pieces even features the Statue of Liberty, with sequined toga and opaque plastic torch! He even went so far as to install America's emblematic statue on the central square of the Fortezza da Basso, where Pitti Uomo is taking place. The statue was half capsized on the gravel, echoing the final sequence of Franklin Schaffner's 1968 film Planet of the Apes.
His collection for next summer also features more casual outfits, but always with a touch of couture, like the sleeveless jacket with large lapels worn as a vest and which closes at the side, the second-skin jumpsuits in silver lurex, the stone encrusted leggings, and the tight bodysuit, paired with baggy pants in a crumpled silver paper effect. And let's not forget the great sweaters and cardigans knitted in silver tinsel yarns with a plush effect.
For the first time, the designer, who distinguished himself at the 2022 LVMH Prize, by winning the Karl Lagerfeld Young Talent Award, introduced eyewear and footwear, made entirely in-house. The 33 looks were enhanced with futuristic glamour glasses with thick, opaque rubber frames and oversized, fur-lined tennis shoes, inspired by the Californian world of skateboarding and surfing. Some models also sported meteorite-shaped sculpture bags.
"This collection is just an evolution, expressing a new facet of my brand. I make films, I design clothes for films, I deal with music. Fashion is not my ultimate goal and it never was. It just happened, and it's doing really well," Eli Russel Linnetz continues. "This is my first show and probably my last... I do everything myself, the music, the photos, the casting, which for me is the most important aspect. Being a control freak, this is too much for me."
Copyright © 2023 FashionNetwork.com All rights reserved.