Sergio Rossi FW 2016/2017

“My shoes are Rossi, Sergio Rossi”. Here’s what we could be saying next winter.

The FW 2016/2017 collection designed by Angelo Ruggeri is almost completely black and clearly inspired by secret agents, spies, soldiers and trekkers.

This is going to be the perfect line of accessories for a charming man in need to go to an exclusive party, run away, fight, catch an helicopter jumping from the terrace, climb a mountain, kill the evil guy and then lay in front of a fireplace.

Maybe this is not daily life, but for many a daily dream.

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Costume National FW 2016/2017

Costume National is synonym with black, New Wave, rock’n’roll darkness. Until now.

The show we saw a few days ago in was Milan truly a surprise. Despite  it felt undoubtedly “Costume”, this time around Ennio Capasa painted his dark canvas with sporadic touches of flashy colors like fire engine red, cobalt blue and chlorophyll green. Not to mention the artisanal “couture” touches, intricate embroidery as well as an elaborate use of studs.

Like in a rock show, the colors acted as spotlights, and spotlights make you discover something that was hidden, underlining once again the mysterious power of darkness.

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Paula Cademartori SS 2016

With the current SS collection Paula Cademartori is showing that she’s not just an “emerging designer” anymore, but a full grown-up creative and entrepreneurial mind.

Bags, shoes and small leather accessories are slowly and inexorably creating a real fashion world, ready to be expanded in several directions. Her vision is clear and her approach is that of an established brand.

It’s not anymore just about color and fun, but here we’re seeing style, class, elegance, irony, something pretty rare and unusual in the landscape of young fashion.

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Lucio Vanotti FW 2016/2017

“Detachment, introspection, distance” are the keywords of the new collection of Lucio Vanotti. And those are also the anti-keywords of the social media age, the perfect antonyms of “sharing, visibility, contact”.

Is this the antidote to the overexposure that fashion is experiencing these days? Probably this is what Giorgio Armani thought when he had to chose one young designer for his initiative in supporting young talents.

Vanotti’s collection is mature and down to earth, perfectly fine-tuned with the contemporary world but courageous and experimental when it comes to shapes, cuts and proportions. After the catwalk, many people in the theatre thought that Lucio would make a very good heir to the design legacy of Gorgeous Giorgio.

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Caruso FW 2016/2017

The next journey of Caruso is once again a journey.

And this time is starts form the land (earthy tones, rare materials, genuine styles) and goes straight to the space, with prints and jacquards that recall NASA but also the Little Prince.

Bravo to Sergio Colantuoni. Once again you made us dream and want to leave with you, to infinity and beyond!

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“Manufacturing Renaissance” pop-up book

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My new article for Cool Hunting

Once upon a time, there was young tailor who decided to move from Naples to Soragna, a small town in the north of Italy. Thanks to his skill and passion, the tailor’s little workshop grew and eventually became a factory capable of making beautiful suits for the country’s most elegant men. Caruso CEO, Umberto Angeloni, understands the story to be a real life fairytale, and has turned it into a pop-up book. “Manufacturing Renaissance” is a vibrant tome, conceived by Angeloni himself and curated by Sergio Colantuoni with illustrations by Evelina Floris.

The first portion of the book is dedicated to the beginning of Raffaele Caruso’s adventure. He left the sunny shores of the Naples in 1958 to open a small laboratory in the foggy flatland of northern Italy. Computers and fabrics explode from the pages of the book, reflecting the way Italian menswear is able to fine-tune itself with the latest technology. The Caruso Boys suddenly appear in the book as the true protagonists, and the leads in recent evolutions of the brand. The modern characters of this fairytale are a cosmopolitan melange of contemporary globetrotters that also appear in the latest Caruso advertising campaign.

The final chapter is dedicated to the brand’s new identity—recently becoming Fabbrica Sartoriale Italiana, a conglomerate of 14 manufacturing realities that consists of 600 people, able to produce more than 120,000 pieces of outerwear a year. The once small workshop with one master tailor and two assistants is now a bonafide global fashion force.

“Manufacturing Renaissance” is availably at the new Caruso flagship store in Milan, via Gesù 4.

 

Arthur Arbesser AW 2015

Arthur Arbesser has some interesting ideas about fashion, and it’s getting clearer and clearer with each collection.

For the next Autumn/Winter he’s proposing a delicate balance of lengths, balances, volumes that really feels out of time. Who cares about the main trends, who cares about the season, who cares about moments and occasions. Arthur (who is also competing for the LVMH Prize) shows there’s an independent and alternative way to get things done, without dramas, chocks and peacock-like costumes.

Arthur Arbesser AW 2015

Arthur Arbesser AW 2015

Arthur Arbesser AW 2015

Arthur Arbesser AW 2015

Arthur Arbesser AW 2015

Arthur Arbesser AW 2015

Arthur Arbesser AW 2015

Arthur Arbesser AW 2015

Arthur Arbesser AW 2015

Arthur Arbesser AW 2015

Arthur Arbesser AW 2015

Arthur Arbesser AW 2015

Arthur Arbesser AW 2015

Arthur Arbesser AW 2015

Arthur Arbesser AW 2015

Arthur Arbesser AW 2015

John Varvatos Menswear AW2015

Milan, 17 January 2015

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Studio Visit: Paula Cademartori

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My new article for Cool Hunting.

Constantly surrounded by architectural and natural beauty alike, Italians sometimes need someone from abroad to remind them of their exceptional surroundings. This may happen when friends and family visit or when some talented creative mind falls in love with local processes. The latter is the case of Paula Cademartori, a Brazilian fashion designer who can be counted among the ambassadors of the “Made in Italy” movement.

Cademartori studied design at Istituto Marangoni and business at Bocconi University, after which she moved to the Marche region (east of Florence on the Adriatic) to work at Orciani for one year. Here she learned what it really means to produce leather goods, the secrets of tanning, cutting, assembling and realizing unique crafts from start to finish. Then she moved back to Milan for two very intense years designing accessories at Versace.

Nevertheless, her dream was to create her own brand, and her first signature bag collection was launched in 2011. In just four years, she established herself as an icon among fashion devotees and buyers alike. We recently met with Cademartori to delve into her creative process and check out an exclusive preview of her new 300-square-meter studio and headquarters in the heart of Milan, where she works with a staff of 17 people. Like in her designs, the space is filled with sophisticated colors, upscale atmospheric touches and shots of pure energy.

“The beauty of Italy,” Cademartori explains of her decision to start the company outside her native Brazil, “is that you can design and then accompany all phases of the project. In a very small territory you have so many people so capable and full of experience that you can learn, discuss, and you always get to do something better than you have imagined. For me, coming from a different culture and a different story (even thou I’ve lived in Italy for the past 10 years) this possibility of direct exchange with all the craftsmen and technicians is always an enrichment.”

Cademartori was raised in Brazil and trained to be an industrial and jewelry designer. For this reason her methodology is far from traditional fashion design. She always starts with the realization of a very complete project (almost final), which then undergoes small changes in the factory. “Each one of my bags originates from my studio, where I have four designers. When I start with an idea, I need to plan it; to understand the user, which volumes and proportions she needs. When I get to the factory, ideas are already very clear, but then there can be a process of evolution. Some details are decided in production, such as the position of the seams in relationship to the inlay, or the use of the materials most suitable for a specific purpose.”

Her pursuit of beauty is punctuated with determination. “If you do not have a real purpose, it’s not enough that the object is beautiful. The aesthetic side matters, but the functionality and the market category are all factors that must be thought of first. My project is global and wants to reach out to all cultures of the world. For this reason, my range is now much larger, designed for women of all backgrounds and origins.”

Cademartori’s bags are extremely spacious yet structured so that everything can be easily organized and accessed quickly, without forcing users to rummage around. Colorful on the outside, they follow defined structural lines, so that one can make the most of space without overstuffing. For this reason they always keep the shape (the study of the structure is critical for the designer) and never lose the beauty of their unique proportions. Also the smallest of clutches have separate areas for smartphones and the bigger styles can hold tablets and other daily essentials. “Each bag is very easy to use,” she adds, “Petite Faye, one of our best-sellers, is full of pockets and is not very deep, so you can reach everything quickly. I love totes, but then you can not find anything inside.”

Since the first collection, Cademartori wanted all the small metal parts to be custom designed, including the recognizable buckle. “That is my logo as well. I put it on all my products and it tells who I am. When I launched my line I aimed at something fresh and new, but I also wanted it to look important. I did not want a simple logo, but a heraldic symbol, as if it were a family crest,” she says. “I started with Greek pi and worked on it, redesigned it so to get to the one we see today. My name you will see very little, since I don’t need to sign my products on the outside, but on the inside. My bags have to be iconic for their design, not because of the name that goes with it.”

Each Cademartori bag can be seen as a sort of base, a frame, a blank canvas upon which to give birth to an infinite variety of colors, materials and inspirations. Her enthusiasm rises when she talks creativity: “The funniest part of the design is when we say, ‘OK, let’s dress the babes!’ At this stage we think less to the design of forms and we freely work on the decoration, the choice of colors and combinations. And I can be a little obsessive with these things.”

In January, Cademartori will present a new line of small leather goods, with some products for men too. “I would like to create a philosophy, a real lifestyle. We started from the bags, but there is a world to be built,” she adds. Expect more surprises to follow, always colorful, always energetic and elegant. And of course—always from excellent Italian factories.

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Fashion Streets of Milan

Ecco cosa intendo quando scrivo che il circus of fashion non è necessariamente da incolpare per tutto il bruttume che vediamo in giro, che non ci sono solo personaggi inutili e dannosi, che c’è tanta bella sperimentazione, che anche l’eleganza può progredire per sottili scossoni. Questo è il lato più interessante e curato del circo, quello degli acrobati, equilibristi e giocolieri più attenti e preparati. Non quello dei clown.

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Eleonora Carisi

Eleonora Carisi

Tamu McPherson

Tamu McPherson

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Valentina Siragusa

Valentina Siragusa

IMG_6768 IMG_6783Angelica Ardasheva, Elena Braghieri

Angelica Ardasheva, Elena Braghieri