L'Istituto Degli Innocenti - a 14th-century orphanage known for it's acclaimed Renaissance architecture – provided an artistic backdrop for today's Cos showcase during day two of Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy. The showcase was like no other, as the 17-piece collection was modelled through the medium of dance, choreographed by renowned British choreographer Wayne McGregor.
Nine contemporary dancers (three women and six men), contorted their bodies in a multitude of movements in what was a powerful and emotive 30-minute performance. Composer Joel Cadbury’s composition of strings, arranged over what sounded like waves crashing, set the tone while dancers leapt around the courtyard.
Photo: Jake McCabe
The collection itself, titled 'Soma'; meaning the body is distinct from the soul, mind or psyche, was designed by the newly appointed Head of Menswear Design Christophe Copin, who has held senior design positions at the likes of Maison Martin Margiela and Hermès. The collection is comprised of 17 functional pieces, including four white shirts, highlighting their importance within an essential wardrobe collection. This collection, in essence, explores how we "intuitively alter the way clothes sit on our body by rolling our sleeves", according to Copin before the show. "This collection of wardrobe essentials hasn’t been changed for the dancers," continues Copin. "It was about seeing the same everyday pieces in movement."
Photo: Jake McCabe
There was an obvious synergy between the clothes and the dancers, as though the clothes were a second skin that moved seamlessly throughout their plie's. This was made even more apparent as their performance built to an impressive allegro of body loops and leg swooshes. On closer inspection, the pieces had a utilitarian feel to them, but simplicity and functionality remained fundamental aspects of this collection.
Navy coat, Cos AW18
Collared white shirt, Cos AW18
Navy polo neck, Cos AW18
In all, this collection is a very considered approach to minimal dressing. By the end, the dancers' efforts were visible on their faces, but the clothes kept their form throughout.
This is the first time that the H&M-owned minimalist label has ever shown at Pitti, which is traditionally a menswear trade show. Cos, which is also the first ever fast-fashion label to show during the four-day event, joins Craig Green and Roberto Cavalli among the top designers showing at this year's festival. The collection will be available from September 6th and is a limited-edition capsule collection.
Watch Soma on Cosstores.com
Photo credit: Jake McCabe