HUGO by Hugo Boss like you've never seen it before

HUGO by Hugo Boss like you've never seen it before

Pitti Uomo 92

Text: Norman Tan

Audio review of the HUGO men's and women's spring/summer 2018 runway show at Pitti Uomo 92

Straight up: This isn't the HUGO that you used to know. 

The younger brother to the mainline HUGO BOSS label, HUGO has traditionally dipped its design brush in the more colourful paint palette; offering a casual, and increasingly more athletic, option for its edgier customer base. But since its debut collection in 1993, HUGO has — for all intents and purposes — sauntered in the shadows, failing to capture the spirit of the times to really propel the brand forward. However, if its combined spring/summer 2018 runway show at Pitti Immagine Uomo 92 is anything to go by, things are never going to be the same again.

Held at a former tabacco manufacturing factory in Florence, Italy, HUGO proposed a directional collection inspired by artist Basquiat and his insouciant style. In short, it was precious clothing worn in a non-precious way. Spearheaded by designer Bart de Backer, who heads up the HUGO menswear design team, the show started with a white-wash of monochrome ensembles — as if starting the brand on a clean new slate — with both sexes sporting belted safari jackets, long linen car coats, and high-and-wide trousers anchored with paint-splattered sneakers (for the boys) and flat-soled leather sandals (for the girls). Colour on the catwalk was first introduced via a neon yellow lining to a wheat Macintosh (rage anyone?) before bursting forth in rich blood reds and magnetic cobalts on oversized outerwear and suiting, before ending in a sheer silk organza dress exploding in expressive hand-painted swirls.

The vibe: Louche and ready to party. The clothes: Fresh and dynamic. The set design: On fire. Literally.   

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