Andrea Pompilio’s studio, on the fringes of Milan’s Chinatown, made for an interesting venue for an interesting appointment about an interesting collection. Why interesting in triplicate ? Well, in order, the studio used to be part of a factory operated by Doniselli, which is the Prada to Rossignoli’s Dolce and Silvestrini’s Armani in the pantheon of beautiful Milan bicycle-makers. Pompilio was walking past five years ago, wandered in, and fell in love with the place. The appointment itself was interesting, because it was in lieu of a runway presentation. That normally indicates sliding sales -so not enough cash to stage a show- but Pompilio insisted the reason was intimacy. "This is my design office. Not my showroom... I decided to do a presentation here because I’ve been thinking how fashion has become so fast. Personally it’s grown in a way I don’t feel comfortable with. We work for months, the show lasts for six minutes, and sometimes I don’t have a chance to speak to anyone about it afterward because everyone is so stressed", stated the designer. Well, that’s true. That’s the giddy gamble of the catwalk. But after last season’s badly presented show, Andrea Pompilio’s logic was compelling. And the clothes were too. Going through a rack with a designer tends to be persuasive, granted, but there was a lot to want here. Rough-hemmed track pants and gray & blue fringed stripes felt light but substantial -and extremely forgiving. The alpaca-mix tank tops and sweaters in an interesting palette of bottle green, rich burgundy, and dirty taupe were nubby and tactile. Andrea Pompilio’s recurring military blazer -an homage to his grandfather on his father’s side (his other grandfather was a dandy)- was present and correct. Little details like artificially worn-out collars on city shirts were much more relishable on the rack than the runway. When you leave an appointment wishing you were taking several pieces of the collection with you, that’s a good sign.