Inside the stately hall of the Duomo show location, Mirko Fontana, Diego Marquez planted two volleyball courts as the setting for the summer presentation of Au Jour Le Jour, inspired by the hit Seventies manga Attack N°1. The invitation had been a clue, an explosive star-shape centered around a speed-elongated volleyball.
Working with this manga inspiration, the pair described the wardrobe of a young Japanese college girl, sports uniform and all. From there on, it was shorts, flirty high hems and transparent polo shirts, jacquard weaves of bento box items - the blush pink was emblazoned with shrimp sushi, multi-strap very high tops and, of course, prints. Fontana and Marquez brought a dose of chic to these athletic silhouettes, giving their styling a whatever-works appeal. Add to that a dose of glitter and post-modern ironic reappropriation, and you have a winning formula that has been the bread and butter of similar brands, from House of Holland to Moschino.
It was fun, youthful, relatable and readily identifiable. The energy that emanates from this punchy collection is contagious, and even for those who aren't quite up to sporting bad girl cigarette lips, it drew a smile. With Anna Dello Russo, decked in a dress with printed red lips, and other street style darlings sporting their wares in the venue, it is clear that their social media savvy handling of their launch accounts for much of their rapid rise. All around, it was very wired into what is seen today on the trend-happy fashionista. That Marquez and Fontana have this kind of energy coupled with business and branding savvy augurs very well for this young brand. If they continue to be this attuned, watching them will be a fascinating peek into the evolution of that particular flavor of fashion on the streets.