Bruno Sialelli brings Italian comic book hero Corto Maltese to the 21st century—and adds a little ’70s skate culture to taste.
Inspired by Corto Maltese, an Italian comic by Hugo Pratt about a sailor, ’70s skate culture, and a dance performance piece by Merce Cunningham called Beach Birds, Lanvin’s Fall/Winter 2020 menswear collection was a colorful maiden voyage. Creative director Bruno Sialelli refigured the comic’s titular character, placing him in 2020, imbuing the collection with the adventurous vision that leads one out to sea.
Here, that’s represented through baggy pants especially flared out below the knee, which billow over skate sneakers with pufferfish laces and a bloated tongue. There’s a striped, tricolor sweater with a matching scarf, both given scales that indiscriminately reflect light. Some suits fit loosely, also featuring flared sleeves that expand from the elbow. Sweater vests—a hallmark of a nautical outfit—are polka-dotted, with a deep olive piece spotted with patches of yellow and a citrine offering speckled with cerulean. A variety of coats feature throughout, with a raincoat that includes a painted scene straight from Corto Maltese itself.
The extravagant portions of the collection are whimsical, like the archetypical sprightly seafarer. Still, Sialelli’s work carries the gravity of being at nature’s mercy with more traditionally tailored pieces and Maltese’s pensive face plastered across jackets, sweaters, and shirts. In a comment to Wallpaper, Sialelli explained why he chose the cartoon sailor as muse, saying, “He is a universal masculine figure that you would want to relate to. With certain constructions and covered buttons, we wanted to have an almost historical feeling but still very urban and real.”