Last year Laurent and Arik Bitton, the founders of Iro, launched a new project, Rev, with a bang. The name, a homophone of rêve (dream in French), also refers to revisiting. The idea is that Rev will exist as an umbrella under which varied revivals of ’80s and ‘90s designers’ work will take shape.
For the brand’s debut, the brothers teamed up with Martine Sitbon—she of the devore slip dresses and perfect coats—to create a collection that used her archive as a starting point. Sitbon will be back to do another main collection, said the Bittons on the call. In the meantime they designed this resort collection, which harks back to the decade of decadence, and enlisted Emmanuelle Alt to style the lookbook.
The line up is big on shoulders and short on hemlines. Asymmetry is celebrated, as is power. A vintage garment inspired a square-shaped jacket with many pockets and snaps, while a cropped and sequined puffer paired with stirrup pants recalls the proportions of Montana, and also Decarnin-era Balmain. Look closely and you’ll see that both the leggings and the shoes are draped. This softness is an important part of the collection, balancing the boldness and strength of the broader silhouette. Likewise suiting is countered with stretch.
“Since the 2000s, we lost these iconic fashion, big movements. This is when there was a real vibe, a message that doesn’t look at marketing, merchandising, social media,” said Arik. “It was real. It was true.” The Bittons are chasing all that is cool, the “decontracte” (relaxed), freedom, from a before time that can never be reconstituted. Like the revived Ann Demeulemeester brand, Rev is not replicating the past but renovating it to make what was, in this case, “acceptable in the ’80s” (to borrow a line from Calvin Harris), palatable in the 2020s. Is this the dream materialized, or a simulation?