Moncler’s “one house, different voices” concept is bearing some serious fruit, but some collections are more worthy of the “Genius” monicker than others. What follows is a ranking of Fall 2019’s Genius collections ranked from least to most genius.
10. Poldo Dog Couture
If we were ranking these collections by the sheer adorableness of the press materials, this one would be number one with a bullet — just look at those adorable little smooshes! — but the collection seems very out of place when shown alongside the work of designers like Simone Rocha and Craig Green, who could probably create some pretty epic and special dog parkas of their own, if they were so inclined.
9. Richard Quinn
Moncler’s press release described Quinn’s collection as “visually arresting” and it certainly is that. But genius? I don’t know. The fact is, Quinn’s prints never look particularly rich and even with Moncler’s superior craftsmanship to bouy them, the whole collection sort of looks like it could have been designed in collaboration with Vera Bradley (especially the bags). Then again, Bradley is a self-made billionaire with a private jet and legions of loyal fans, so…
8. Fragment Hiroshi Fujiwara
There’s some cool stuff here, but it all feels a little basic, especially compared to the offerings of some of the other designers on Moncler’s roster. That may be the point, given that Moncler’s press release about the collection lauds the designer’s ability to “turn the ordinary into the cult like,” but at the end of the day, the fact is that this particular collection just doesn’t feel that special. Not that that will stop it from selling well, in fact, quite the contrary.
7. Palm Angels
The rainbow of shiny metallics is lovely, but the massive logos feel a little played out, to be honest, and the logo print on the bags reminds me of a polka dot Trapper Keeper a friend of mine had in the 3rd grade. Back then, I thought Trapper Keepers were about as genius as genius could be, but 3rd grade was a very long time ago at this point.
Of the two Moncler imprints designed in-house (the other being Grenoble), 1952 is definitely the more commercial, but what it does, it does very well. The men’s collection evoked a laidback mood and featured relatable silhouettes in a mix of muted colors and laminated touches that created a fresh balance. “Since the first season, my approach has been to rework the heritage of Moncler related to youth culture and its realness,” said men’s designer Sergio Zambon. “Realness of an icon translated and evolved through the support of youth mixed with my passion for contemporary art, music, travels.”
For the women’s collection, designer Veronica Leoni reinterpreted the Moncler code in a layering of materials and shapes — bouclé wools, fishnets, bleached tartans, padded tailoring, fur, and knit mixed with nylon in unexpected and compelling combinations. “Moncler Genius stands for an eclectic, transversal, fluid way of doing fashion,” said Leoni. “The ultimate goal is being unique while in full consonance with the multifaceted touch of its philosophy.
Also, the collaboration bags created with Valextra and styled with many the above looks are absolutely fantastic.
5. 1017 Alyx 9SM
What this collection lacks in variety, at least compared to some of the others on this list, it more than makes up for by just looking so damned cool! The transparent red plastic parka is awesome and the whole collection feels like “The Matrix” meets some sort of post-apocolyptic arctic wilderness.
For Fall 2019, designer Sandro Mandrino decided to mash up two disparate worlds — mountaineering and music festivals — and the result is a joyful riot of color and print that is a pleasure to behold. “The mountain is where Moncler Grenoble belongs, which means that performance is focal,” said Mandrino. “I stuck to the brief in terms of fabrics and shapes, but went the opposite way in terms of treatments, opting for tie-dye, fringes and patchworks that have a crafty feel. Still, you can ski in these.”
3. Craig Green
Green’s obsessive interest in arcitecture and space as they relate to clothes and the body makes him the perfect partner for Moncler. This season, Green played with bold volumes made of a sum of light modules that can be folded, flattened, and packed, creating shapes that shrink and grow. The resulting garments look like a cross between sleeping bags, snow suits, and lifeboats and is just the absolute coolest. If Voltron had a love child with a puffy coat, this is what it would look like. Amazing!
2. Simone Rocha
Simone Rocha’s way of blending the romantic with Moncler’s particular technical practicality as an outerwear brand is certainly nothing short of genius. Rocha is one of the most compelling and promising young designers on the London Fashion Week calendar and her Moncler Genius collection is just another example of the stunning and unique vision that makes her such an unparalleled talent in the world of fashion today.
1. Pierpaolo Piccioli
Oh. My. God. Before you read any further, take a moment to just look at these designs and bask in their pure, dramatic loveliness. Stunning. Absolutely stunning.
Designer Pierpaolo Piccioli created his collection in collaboration with model and designer Liya Kebede. “I am after a balance of dreaminess, extravagance and soulfulness,” said Piccioli. “I involved Liya Kebede, who is an active supporter of African artisans with her label lemlem, in the process, creating something true to her, to Moncler and to my own sensibility. Connecting diversities is my idea of inclusive creativity.”
“There is no better way to show how time-honored traditions, like our lemlem artisans’ work, have a place in modern fashion than this partnership, working with Pierpaolo and Moncler,” said Kebede. “I was honored to be a part of this creative process, bringing together heritages that at first glimpse seemed so different but when unexpectedly combined, create something so rich and new, redefining beauty and reminding us that there are no borders in life.”
Genius. Absolutely genius.