Scene by Suzy Menkes: Aquilano.Rimondi, Marco de Vincenzo, Gabriele Colangelo
Aquilano.Rimondi: Striving for Simplicity
Fashion designers can be divided up into architects and decorators: and it was as though Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi had been frightened off from their lush, historical play with fabrics, in favour of ‘just clothes ‘.
The duo had a word for their latest inspiration: “neoplastic”. Forms inspired by the De Stijl art movement co-founded by Mondrian, and based on purity. Geometric abstraction, subtracting figurative images, was their stated aim – to create a fashion simplicity.
Call me a philistine, but having witnessed so many intriguing collections from the design duo – including a recent one inspired by Henri Matisse – I just don’t get these arch fashion romantics going for plain and simple.
The clothes were nice enough: a sparkle on black trousers, a navy coat with glittering long-sleeves, crystals tracing a square pattern, and silvered wings as decoration.
The basic silhouette was attractive: a high-waisted coat with a slim belt.
But it seems too early in their joint careers for such designers, steeped in romance and tactile fabrics, to play the minimalist game.
Marco de Vincenzo: Colour Blocked
The rainbow-tinted lenses of the glasses at Marco de Vincenzo’s show suggested from the first outfit – in grey denim with a multi-coloured striped sweater – a desperation to be cool.
That, and the deafening music that seemed inappropriate for a straightforward collection of sporty separates. As ever, simplicity was the winner: for example, vertical strokes of colour on a white top with a tan denim skirt.
Then came streamlining plus adornment: plain coats decorated with what looked like ice-cream cones or blobs of sorbet.
I had thought that LVMH, via Fendi, had taken an investment in de Vincenzo’s company because of his exceptional skills of impressing embellishment to streamlined effect.
But I did not find that in this collection, although inserts of checks at an angle across a black sweater were in tune with other geometric expressions from Winter 2015.
But the designer did not seem to be speaking the language of fashion – just creating some striking clothes.
My random picks from an unfocused show: a green, vertically striped devore dress (the look came in multi-coloured stripes too), dresses with a single line of Lurex colour trickling down the front, and those rainbow glasses.
But to make an impact on the sales floor, more focus would be wise.
Gabriele Colangelo: Minimalist, with a Twist
Twenty-first-century minimalism overlaid with pertinent colours or fabric pieces set at an angle. That is a look very much in the fashion air.
Gabriele Colangelo was at his best when he stuck to a graphic programme. He made a clear, clean statement with a sudden jolt of red, a play on stripes and even rough-hewn knitted mesh.
But the designer also dabbled with complex effects, such as drapes at the front or fabric pulling across pants.
The show steadied itself with the use of fur, set in pads at an angle. This is a current fashion story, seen also at Marni and others.
Colangelo seems to have a real feeling for fur. It looked striking when striped with white, or as a purple streak at an angle across the chest. Maybe he should take a hard look at his winners and losers, and edit his next collection into a clear success story.