FA2L is for anyone who cares about beautiful things–clothing, shoes, accessories, home furnishings–and the interconnected tribes of those who make, sell, market and desire them. If something speaks to you, buy it now or hold your peace: there are links in each story, so the item you want is just a click away. I'd like to hear from you, too: please view my profile, use the email button and send me your comments.MG

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Move Over Guys: Antonio Azzuolo is Talking to Her

Arthur D, of IMG Men, wearing Antonio Azzuolo Fall 2014 and eyewear by Warby Parker.
At Fashion As a 2nd Language, we've been fans of Antonio Azzuolo since 2009 (see our first story about him here). He hails from Montreal, but his career has taken him around the world, from Milan to Paris and, ultimately, New York. Along the way, he's worked for some seriously big designer brands, including Hermès, Kenzo and Ralph Lauren. He's also honed an eye for detail that's become more distinctive with each season's menswear presentation––and, for Fall 2014, he's finally taken the jump and introduced a woman's collection as well.

Part of Antonio Azzuolo's lineup in the Warby Parker shop.
The show's notes drew attention to what we've already come to expect from Azzuolo––specifically, his sharp, sartorial silhouettes, deftly infused with hints of the avant-garde. ("Savile Row meets the Lower East Side," according to the press release.) What this means, in real-world terms, is clothing that's both wearable and, perhaps, a bit too much, depending on how many pieces one opts to wear together.

Extreme texture, shown as an option for both men and women.
Azzuolo tends to keep his palette simple––black, white, grey and navy are his staples––but this season, he also wove in shots of pale pink, dark rose and deep purple. Pieces were often layered, resulting in turtlenecks tucked inside shirt collars, with sweaters, tunics and jackets adding additional fabric to "frame" the face and neck (perhaps that's why Azzuolo chose to show at the eyeglass store, Warby Parker).

Boy, girl, boy, girl––good-looking clothes, all the way down the line.

Men's boots by Antonio Azzuolo for Giuliano Fujiwara; women's sandals by Santoni.
As much as we liked the clothes, we were also impressed by the shoes. The women's sandals and pumps were by Santoni, but the men's military-style boots and handsome lace-up oxfords were part of a collection Azzuolo designed for Giuliano Fujiwara (a name we haven't heard in a while). They literally grounded even Azzuolo's most ethereal looks, and added a few more "must-haves" to our Fall 2014 wish list.

Antonio Azzuolo, center, with models for his Fall 2014 men's and women's collections.
Azzuolo brings a unique sensibility to New York Fashion Week, one that occupies a niche outside the boundaries of classic American sportswear. His clothes suggest everything from Parisian chic to Williamsburg cool, with dashes of British propriety, Japanese quirkiness and Milanese rigor sprinkled throughout. Combining sweeping gestures and careful details, Azzuolo takes us on a trip around the world. And, like any good tour guide, he leaves us wanting more.

Photographs by Noël Sutherland