Ever since its doors closed, followers of Carpe Diem have been anxious to see something new from its creator Maurizio Altieri. Their hunger has been fed slowly. In 2009 Altieri showed Avantindietro – a small collection of footwear and garments which followed the ethos of Carpe Diem and its sister labels in the sense of being, despite its minimalism, unlike anything else on the market. Fast forward another 2 years, and Altieri emerged with a follow up dubbed Avantindietro_Field, this time collaborating with Alessio Zero – the Italian designer behind Layer-0 – to produce a small collection of footwear using leather they had buried years earlier. This once again showcased Altieri’s devotion to making something entirely unique, even if it takes years of preparation.
An equally long amount of time is said to have gone into m_moria, the latest endeavor first presented by Altieri in Tokyo this past summer, and now at Dover Street Market in London. The project, fully titled “m_moriabc”, consists of shoes of impeccable quality, hand made from Horween cordovan in Italy by a small team of artisans. The collection is formed by three last shapes, titled A, B and C as the name suggests. While the Avantindietro projects were characterized by sleek, round shapes of the toe-box and mostly hidden welts, the new footwear show some more traditional elements such as a storm welt and Norwegian welt construction and more classic last shapes. Typically for Altieri, encasement plays a key role in the concept of m_moria, with the peculiar coated thick cardboard boxes being some of the most impressive packaging we have ever seen.
For the release at Dover Street Market, Altieri created an installation that went from the store’s roof to the basement, where the new collection was presented. The idea was two-folded. For one, Altieri, perhaps somewhat ironically, is uncomfortable selling his products. To reflect this ambivalence, he utilized spaces in Dover Street Market not used as sales areas – the roof, the stairwell, and a basement enclosure into which a person could barely fit. The second idea was to see the installation akin to a human body. Altieri is famously preoccupied with anatomy and one of his singular achievements is considering garments as continuation of a body. Hence, the installation on top, which consisted of a leather chair and a metal cage covered in yarn and fabric could be seen as a human head, the yarn spinning down the staircase as the arteries, and the shoes in the basement; well, you get the idea. The footwear models will be released for sale periodically over the next months exclusively to Dover Street Market.