#SuzyMFW: Sex And Sensibility

Italian women have been seen in life and, particularly, in art as angels or whores. At least a century after the old clichés driven by religion were silenced, elements of those concepts still linger in clothes.

Philosophy by Lorenzo Serafini

When Lorenzo Serafini started designing for Philosophy, the clothes all seemed to have innocence at their core. Later, he was tempted to add a spin of sex to his sensibility.

The only obvious touches of sauciness for spring/summer 2018 included denim shorts or jackets scissored off thigh-high. The rest was fresh and modest – in tune with the designer’s inspiration: Tina Chow, one of fashion’s most naturally elegant figures until she died in 1992 at the age of 41.

There was a sweetness to Serafini’s vision, not just in the graceful long-skirted dresses in vibrant stripes of orange, yellow, pink, brown, and green. There were also innocent white dresses with ruffled collars, hinting at church choir robes.

The designer should keep his sights on Chow. Her spirit and a hint of her part-Japanese origin did his collection proud.

Gabriele Colangelo

As the models walked gracefully past plinths of light on Gabriele Colangelo’s runway, their progress was just slow enough to grasp the detail that had gone into his work.

Inspired by the Japanese art of shibori, or partial dyeing, and by chiné techniques that dye warp yarns before the weaving, the effect was of rippling shadows and unexpected textures.

“It’s shibori in a new way because the binding in this technique is the starting point of the collection,” said the designer. “I created this new plissé that is made by hand and then fixed it on the base with a coated collar.”

It might seem complicated, but the skill of all designers who have fibre at their fingertips is to create magic out of an unexpected mix – yet keeping the clothes apparently simple.

The manipulation of fabrics and the resulting dyeing was melded with the art of pleating – irregular, but graceful as it crossed the body.

The trajectory of the clothes was oblong, yet still sensitively feminine, although the occasional addition of menswear seemed too literal. Altogether, the designer proved that intense workmanship and clear vision can produce a fine show.