domenica 14 settembre 2014

Italian brands on NYC runways explore other worlds

Versus, Missoni, Diesel Black Gold and Liberatore show lineup

(ANSA) - Rome, September 11 - Fashion can at times appear like an alternative dimension - a zone far removed from the daily business of getting dressed. New York Fashion Week wrapping up Thursday proved just how inspiring such a reality gap can be. A case in point were Italian brands showcasing their spring-summer 2015 collections at the New York shows. Versace's second label, Versus, saw the debut of Anthony Vaccarello, founder in 2008 of the eponymous, Paris-based fashion house which has quickly become a cult with its cut-out, body-conscious dresses oozing sex appeal.

The Belgian designer of Italian descent found his match in the label created in 1990 by Gianni Versace for his muse, sister Donatella, widely considered as fashion's original mastermind of the rock chick. And he went back to the Versace roots by spanning time zones through 1980s citations. Versus this week hit the New York catwalk again after an 11-year gap - the brand showed collections during NYFW from 1995 until 2003 - with clothes that cited Vaccarello in style but were pure Versace in attitude.

A series of body-enhancing black numbers had great strength in their simplicity with a rock vibe touch given by breastplates, belt buckles and clasps. Prints paid homage to classic Versace patterns. Strong pieces included little black wrap dresses with a stunning Grecian motif slit very high on the thigh with an asymmetric hem. Vaccarello, who was appointed as the label's designer after some of fashion's hottest names including Christopher Kane, tailored his minimalist aesthetic to a collection that, in a first, was immediately available for sale online. The 1980s played a role also in designer Andreas Melbostad's spring-summer collection at Diesel Black Gold, Renzo Rosso's denim and leather brand. Following the footsteps of Saint Laurent's Hedi Slimane, Melbostad explored the depths of that time zone, quoting as key inspiration the leather jacket donned by an 1980s music icon, British singer Gary Numan.

The result was a collection strong in streamlined staples. After a number of seasons of elaborately dyed and studded jeans, the label's spring-summer designs saw a comeback of raw denim in bold shades of red and blue. Leather pieces hugged the body in slim silhouettes with a rock 'n roll twist - like a studded biker jacket or a little vest-and-skirt combo. Frida Kahlo's Mexican heritage has also been a recurrent inspiration in fashion. M. Missoni redesigned some of the artist's trademark themes to freshen up its boldly coloured aesthetic for next spring with quirky touches such as tiny white skulls straight from Mexico's ancient festival Day of the Dead. Key collection numbers in tune with Kahlo's aesthetic included peasant tops and skirts featuring rose appliqués, embroidered shifts and a denim jacket very similar to a piece worn by Kahlo in several well-known photographs.

The pattern of an otherworldly bird was the inspiration that shaped the spring lineup of Rome-born designer Francesca Liberatore, one of four winners of the DHL Exported contest who had the opportunity to introduce her collection during New York's fashion week. Liberatore's collection - which was mostly women's wear but featured a few men's looks - included separates with geometric and bird motifs, from linen skirts to sheer blouses and funky suede vests. Outstanding pieces included a black duster coat - outerwear being the strong suit of this 30-year-designer who previously worked at Jean Paul Gaultier and Brioni before starting her own line. 

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