Gabrielle Colangelo: the touch of human hands
But the first piece I saw was not some elaborate, overwrought and highly decorated creation of a designer for whom too much is never enough. The opposite was true: Gabriele had based his collection on a theme of “decomposition”, using handwork to reduce fabric to strips and re-assemble them by hand. So the final effect was of a gentle streamlining.
“I usually start with a vision — an artistic reference — and then I go to my suppliers and show them my idea,” said Gabriele. “This season it is a contemporary artist called Dianna Molzen. She takes off one vertical and one horizontal thread so they fall down. I try to express this feeling.”
In the show, the silhouettes were long and lean and the outfits apparently simple. But on closer inspection, a dress, cut away on one side to reveal narrow trousers, was a marvel of lace compressed to silhouette the body; while a black tunic was made up of strips, as one would find in a car wash, woven into a wearable top. The same craft was used for a sleek blue top with a pieced-together skirt.
This concept of intense craftsmanship creating wearable clothes was a master class from Colangelo, delivered via a streamlined wardrobe of clothes touched by human hands.
Marco de Vincenzo: for the material girl
The designer said that he was inspired by a postcard of the Riviera in the 1950s — hence a beach-scape printed around the hem of a sleeveless coat and, for a nocturnal version, a bird flying across a skirt above a wave made with fringing.
However happy the holiday, these elaborate decorations on simple, sporty clothes seemed out of synch. Remove these creations from the beach — but perhaps not the transparent chiffon shirt with built-in black bra — and there was some magnificent workmanship. But horses for courses, or, in this case, a simple question: who would wear such sumptuous, beautifully made outfits to the beach?