Turning luxury fashion on its head, Italian powerhouse Moncler teamed up with Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli to revamp their famous puffer coats into flamboyant ski-like evening gowns recalling high fashion with an edge.

Several luxury labels like Kering’s Gucci and LVMH ‘s Louis Vuitton release mid-season collections that go beyond the traditional two releases a year, however, none match the frequency of Moncler’s trailblazing “Genius” collections. Bringing the iconic design series to the recently concluded Milan Fashion Week for a second time, the brand unveiled a series of futuristic puffer coats in a theatrical eight-part presentation.

Moncler Genius ski-like evening gowns

The brand has previously collaborated with acclaimed designers like Craig Green, Simone Rocha, and Richard Quinn. Setting itself apart as the most successful collaboration so far is the capsule with Piccioli- a vibrant, grandiose and dramatic series of puffer coat gowns. In collaboration with Ethiopian model and actress Liya Kebede, the Moncler x Piccioli gowns were modeled by eight Ethiopian artists from Kebede’s ethical fashion brand, Lemlem. Fuelling the designers diverse and progressive aesthetics, the patterned trimmings on the collection were inspired by local African textiles.

Moncler Genius ski-like evening gowns

Lemlem supports local artisans in Ethiopia and central Africa and they commissioned the artists to produce handmade apparels for the collection.

The nine capsules form the third iteration of the Genius project, the first of which launched at Milan Fashion Week last year. All the collections were presented simultaneously in different parts of the tunnels beneath the Milan Centrale train station.

Moncler Genius ski-like evening gowns

Avant-Garde dresses were masterfully constructed with a “lacquered-effect tech fabric,” giving it the slick finish commonly seen on puffer coats. The top of each dress was sleeveless and glossy, while the skirt was vibrant, bubble-shaped and floor-length, it also included a set of puffer jackets for dogs. The entire collection reflected ingenious internal engineering proving that a puffer coat can seamlessly elude the look and feel of couture.

Soon after the showcase was revealed on social media, thanks to the drop-obsessed millennials, the collection was completely sold out at Moncler’s e-store. Thus successfully commemorating an era of maximalism, where couture transcends cultures.