With an edgy spring summer 2014 collection marked by a militarized Harajuku girl look, Alexis Martial made his debut as the creative director of Iceberg's women's line.
The show commenced with a series of crisp button down shirts with the sort of collars Imperial Japanese Army generals wore during World War II when they invaded the Pacific Islands like Guam and Saipan. I have to say, at this point, I was a little bit skeptical. After all, Martial did say earlier this week that this was all supposed to be youthful.
The 28-year-old Parisian repeated several times that he wanted to infuse a renewed sense of "playfulness" into Iceberg's women's line. In the end, he did just that.
Boxy cartoonish pullovers reminiscent of the 1960's hit series "Star Trek" were adorned with hiragana and katakana characters, some bearing glacial ice blue patches. A T-shirt with a modernist rendering of what could very well be Mt. Fuji, was a teaser to the more natural Japanese elements that would soon follow.
Colorful cherry blossom inspired prints on blouses and sundresses were paired with, and thus bridled, by frilly sheer tops and skirts and overbearing sheer black A-line tanks, stark shorts, and pants - like the kimono-to-western fashion revolution that's been enduring in Japan over the last half century.
Synthetic materials provided flowing transparent tops and asymmetrical skirts with structured orbital trim reminiscent of the ring system that festoons the planet Saturn.
As the delicate patterns disappeared into the black, a shy Martial stepped out and was received by a hearty standing ovation from Italy's fashion elite.
"You always take a risk working with young people," said a visibly pleased Paolo Gerani, CEO and Artistic Director of the Gilmar Group which controls the brand. "I think he did a great job. There is a bit of sophistication, but also a lot of innovation."