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“Perfectly imperfect” describes the aesthetic and approach that many designers are embracing in the face of global turmoil and the hyper gloss of digital communication. It also describes the workings of memory—that intangible “wardrobe” of impressions that we all pull from.

Inspired by photos of their Veronese nonna, Niccolò Pasqualetti reached into their deep storage of remembrance looking for glimmers of old-school glamour, particularly as it was expressed in Italy, this fall. Though there is a smattering of references to the ’30s and ’40s, this is not a nostalgic collection; the references are distorted by memory and, said the designer on a call, “redrawn in the present.”

Pasqualetti’s work is defined by subtlety; the designs bend and blend into the space around them. To this editor’s eye, some of the looks resemble quickly squiggled sketches; they leave space for interpretation. Such hybrids as the brand’s much-copied skirt-pant, and this season’s pant-skirt, literally invite the wearer to insert themselves into hybrid and interpretive silhouettes. Expanding on this idea, Pasqualetti added shape-shifting wires to some of the looks, such as a white shirt with wing sleeves and what they describe as a “surreal” ensemble, a wired wool coat worn over a wired linen dress. They’re both of the same design and together they form “a distorted three-dimensional shape” that can be adapted to the whims of the wearer’s fancy.

A fringed and sequined siren dress adorned with a ceramic ring is the most dramatic and direct expression of the glamour theme, but in many ways it’s an outlier because it is so overt. More intriguing is the designer’s take on the smoking, a unique cut paired with a long skirt zippers up the front and back to create the impression of trousers when closed. “I wanted to work on recognizable garments and recognizable symbols, like the sequins and the menswear tailoring, and then combine them with something that is more unrecognizable,” said Pasqualetti. (“Something” in this case can mean an accessory or shape or proportion.)

Each season the designer is developing the sartorial element of their collection, combining tailoring with organic lines is one of the brand’s signatures, as in the blazer with the curved sleeve. A-lines and cone shapes define many of the fall silhouettes, like the opening look, a long, cap-sleeved swing coat made of two types of faux fur, one, the designer noted, that looks artificial, and the other real. Deep fur cuffs also ground pants. Many of the materials Pasqualetti uses are deadstock or upcycled, and it’s a welcome surprise to see what they did with denim. The designer took no shortcuts, the hem you see on the patchworked piece is the actual hem of the upcycled denim; the patina is authentic. So, for that matter, is this magical realism of this designer’s vision.