A Breakdown of Moncler Genius: an 8-Capsule Collaboration

March 05, 2018 4:00 PM

New York. London. Milan. Paris. We lump the biannual big-four global trade shows under the term "fashion week," but it's really a month-long whirlwind of style, color, texture, craftsmanship, attitude and ideas. So now that it's all wrapped up, we wanted to take a moment to revisit something that happened in Milan. Something we can't stop thinking about. Moncler Genius: eight collections, borne of distinct aesthetic inspiration, but united under the credo "Creativity is our energy. Multiplicity is our strength." 

You probably know Moncler from their form-meets-function quilted winter jackets which have kept skiers and snow bunnies warm since 1952. Or perhaps you've caught the recent collaborations that Moncler's president and creative director Remo Ruffini has been hatching up: Moncler Lunettes (a line of sunglasses with Pharrell Williams); Moncler O (a collab with Off-White's Virgil Abloh) and Moncler C (a collab with British designer Craig Green). Each project was innovative and fun with some unexpected elements. And it got Ruffini thinking...
 
So he's taken his penchant for design mash-ups and kicked it into overdrive, resulting in the aforementioned collaboration extraordinaire, Moncler Genius. All eight collections were housed under one roof on February 20th in Milan, but you can expect to see the garments for sale in Moncler boutiques and pop-ups over the next few months. And if the frenzy at the exhibit in Milan is any indication of things to come, the release of each collection will indeed be a HAPPENING. In the meantime, we've unpacked the vision behind each of the eight collections:
 
Cell One: Pierpaolo Piccioli Valentino's creative director has created a series of exquisite silhouettes for outerwear: a hooded cape with armholes, an A-line skirt with a fitted waist, and a cropped-cape top over an A-line bodice. Available in black, white and a multitude of bright colors, the collection is starkly futuristic and yet reminiscent of a Renaissance Madonna at the same time. 
 
Cell Two: 1952 Named after the year that Moncler was founded, the collection of brightly-colored puffer jackets, vests, joggers and sweatshirts combines an American streetwear sensibility with an Italian sophistication.
 
Cell Three: Grenoble A brightly colored collection of ski and apres-ski garments, Grenoble has been part of the company's portfolio for several years, and is named after the city in the French Alps where Moncler was founded. It's what you wear when you're sitting around a bonfire in the Alps, sipping brandy after a day on the slopes. It would also be smashing for a sledding adventure in Prospect Park. 
 
Cell Four: Simone Rocha The breakout star of the British fashion scene, Rocha is known for her flirty tulle dresses favored by celebrities like Rihanna, Beyonce and Keira Knightley. Her 21-look collection is a brilliant juxtaposition of her distinctive design elements fused with Moncler manufacturing techniques and materials. They will make you pray for snow.   
 
Cell Five: Craig Green Ruffini's collaboration with bold menswear designer, Craig Green continues with a bold collection of sparse, sculptural and decidedly impermeable outerwear that evokes a Samurai in an avalanche. In a good way. 
 
Cell Six: Noir Kei Ninomiya  Known for his all-black palette, Ninomiya is a Japanese designer with an eponymous brand under the Comme des Garcons umbrella. His Moncler collaboration is a master-work of texture and shape; some garments were woven from the nylon shell fabric, others are quilted in ways that sculpt the silhouette of the body in an unexpected way. 
 
Cell Seven: Fragment Hiroshi Fujiwara Known as one of the founders of Tokyo's Harajuku street fashion scene in the 1980's, Fujiwara has become internationally known as a DJ, producer and designer. His highly-wearable Moncler collection has elements of hip-hop and streetwear fused with Moncler classics like puffer coats, ski sweaters and quilted overcoats. 
 
Cell Eight: Palm Angels Moncler Art Director Francesco Ragazzi has long been obsessed with skater culture. In 2014, Rizzoli published a book of his black-and-white photography of the LA skater scene, and that book became a RTW collection for F/W 2015. This Palm Angels collection for Moncler is sexy and laid back, with glossy jackets and joggers in black and red. Not quite skater garb, but definitely a highly-wearable yet slightly subversive take on American streetwear. 
 
 
WRITTEN BY KAREN FRAGALA-SMITH
 
PHOTO CREDIT: MONCLER
 

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