The Italian designer speaks on his Spring/Summer 2024 collection, trading fashion’s rulebook for intuitive construction
“I try to see things for what they are,” says Niccolò Pasqualetti, “and forget where they came from.” This sensibility has served the Italian designer well, as he follows his intuition—ignoring the rules of womenswear and menswear and classic tailoring to construct truly experimental garments. His Spring/Summer 2024 collection, presented yesterday at Paris Fashion Week, played with the almost scientific notion of “allowing foreign elements to come together,” studying how they interact and building from there.
The clothing was an exercise in opposition: an undulating, pastel dress next to a boxy black suit jacket; eyewear with hanging steel attachments, simultaneously utilitarian and frivolous; heavily-pocketed aprons hanging over seamless capes. “I don’t want to be afraid of complexity,” Pasqualetti tells Document, “[instead] allowing myself to keep two contradictory things in mind at once.”
Here, the designer expands on his latest designs, switching seamlessly between “moments of sweetness and moments of austerity, synthetic and natural, play and work.”
Document Journal: You’ve described your wardrobe as ‘ambivalent, androgynous’—existing in the space between set definitions. This season, how did you build upon that sensibility?
Niccolò Pasqualetti: I try to see things for what they are, and forget where they came from. In this collection, there are textures, colors, and shapes that I am exploring for the first time. There are moments of sweetness and moments of austerity, synthetic and natural, play and work. I don’t want to be afraid of complexity, [instead] allowing myself to keep two contradictory things in mind at once.
Document: Classic Italian tailoring is often your jumping-off point. What sets it apart?
Niccolò: The details: the subtle excess of a particular trim—like an unexpected pleated ribbon band—or the inside of a jacket being just as beautiful as the outside.
Document: In terms of references, what was on your mind as you designed for this season?
Niccolò: My dad has spent a lot of time in the hospital over the past year. The space for the show has the same aseptic atmosphere, and some of the clothes resemble protective equipment, like hazmat suits or shoe covers. I like the universality of how they are made to fit over any item of clothing, and how the elastic cinches to create a seal with the body.
At the same time, the sterile space is like a laboratory. Within it, there is the possibility of experimentation, of allowing foreign elements to come together to observe how they interact.
Document: Were there any techniques you practiced for the first time this season?
Niccolò: I have offered jewelry since the [label’s] beginning, but this is the first time it has really integrated with the clothing. We developed these shapes in stainless steel that are very light, but still have the effect of [weight] when they hang from fabric. These objects are also modular, functioning as necklaces or masks.
Document: Any pieces from this collection that might be a future signature for the label?
Niccolò: The spaces between categories are the most open to newness. There is a kind of alchemy that happens when two garments merge into one—like the skirtrousers, which are reimagined every season, or the suit jacket with a hood hidden in the collar.
Document: Who do you design for?
Niccolò: Someone who doesn’t want to be too sharply defined.
Document: Your dream subject to dress?
Niccolò: Georgia O’Keeffe.
Document: Where do you hope your work will go from here?
Niccolò: Unknown territories.
Document: Post-show, how will you celebrate?
Niccolò: I don’t think that far ahead. I take everything day by day.