Palm Angels Fall 2019 Ready-To-Wear
Palm Angels founder Francesco Ragazzi thinks big. That may sound like a broad statement, but in Ragazzi’s case, it’s apt: His approach is a 360-degree, digitally integrated and ambitious push for maximum scale. In four quick years, Palm Angels has gone from a new kid on the block to a global disrupter, demolishing the line of luxury and hype and creating an atmosphere all its own in the process.
This was evinced with Fall, which was shown in New York City for the first time (Palm Angels normally shows in Milan). At West Chelsea’s Cedar Lake space, a complex light show pierced the room with militant timing, faux-Greek statues were hidden behind mirrored-glass cubes, and Marilyn Manson’s “The Dope Show” thudded with gritty, lip-curling menace through the sound system. An ardent crowd turned out, so much so that some surprise invitees, selected through a giveaway that Ragazzi put up on Instagram, boarded last-minute transatlantic flights just to catch the event. All of this ties into the aforementioned: The man knows damn well how to manifest his vision and, in tandem, manufacture hype around it. The bigger the better.
So did the clothes—oh yeah, there were clothes!—justify it? For the most part, yes. Palm Angels became famous for tracksuits and hoodies—it’s beyond that now. “I wanted to move away from streetwear here; the brand has to grow,” said Ragazzi. “I wanted to bring it to New York but I didn’t want to give New York something that it already had.” This sentiment resulted in a dressier lineup, complete with a strong uptick in tailoring, and a mix-and-matched visual language spanning from aliens to a logo that read “Sensitive Content” to an equestrian scarf motif to bionically sculpted leather dresses. “It’s sportswear, the sartorial, and streetwear,” said Ragazzi. “With layers of hunting and fishing.”
Technical jackets featured allover pocketing and layering; tights had patterns; grungy trousers boasted a space-dye motif. But when it became a little too busy or freewheeling, Ragazzi righted it with his best-in-show pieces: slightly shrunken riding blazers, often with pocket medals and chains. You know the phrase, go big or go home? Ragazzi made it clear tonight: He’s booming.