Feb 27, 2023
Milan Fashion Week once again succeeded in drawing attention to new creative visions, conceived by inventive designers, who are positioning themselves on the market with original and relevant projects. On the same day as Giorgio Armani on Sunday, the Japanese Tomo Koizumi showed off his monumental creations, Vitelli with Mauro Simionato’s experimental knitwear and the Chinese Shuting Qiu with her energetic and joyful style.
Tomo Koizumi: a punchy tribute to D&G
Pop and flashy colours, an avalanche of organza and gathered satin, exaggerated volumes… It was a punchy and exuberant show that Tomo Koizumi unveiled this weekend, paying a clear tribute to Dolce & Gabbana, which supported the young designer this season, both logistically and creatively. As was the case last season for the British designer Matty Bovan, who was present at the show to support his colleague.
The Japanese designer was able to take from the Milanese luxury label’s archives, recycling beautiful printed silks with their recognisable Sicilian iconography, playing around with the emblematic little black dress, or using corsets made from multicoloured ribbons. He then attached ruffled sleeves of multi-stratum rainbow fabrics, long tulle trains or puffed sleeves.
This collaboration allowed Tomo Koizumi to evolve his style, moving away from his vaporous total looks to explore new materials, silhouettes, techniques and colours. In this collection for autumn/winter 2023/24, he used miles of shiny satin fabric that he gathered into voluminous three-dimensional constructions, creating stunning colour gradations.
But it is still in his sculptural creations with a couture touch, made from polyester organza that the designer is at his best. He transformed clouds of ruffles and gathered fluorescent hues (yellow, orange, turquoise, pink, mauve) into incredible crinoline dresses or Harlequin’s bibendum outfits. He even went so far as to make a giant rainbow-coloured cape and blanket that was worn by five models in a line for an astonishing caterpillar effect.
Creativity and denim experiments at Vitelli
Vitelli, one of the most interesting new ‘Made in Italy’ names, presented on Sunday a very tactile collection focused on the richness of textures, through a captivating mixed fashion show. “It’s our first real show,” confided founder and creative director Mauro Simionato, a leading knitwear specialist who debuted on the Milanese catwalks in September 2021. Gone are the days of improvisation and in-house castings. This time, everything was much more constructed and structured. And the brand’s incredible research was much better promoted.
The designer continues to experiment, while broadening his spectrum. “For the first time, we used denim from dormant stocks, which were mixed with silk and softened via our textile machines, taking on the appearance of felt. This allowed us to complete our total look by escaping from knitwear a bit,” he explained. He also used fresh wool fabrics, which were scraped to become soft.
Knitwear remained predominant, of course, worked through all sorts of treatments and mixing techniques in a series of unique pieces. Openwork dresses slid gently from one shoulder into an asymmetrical shape. A knitted blazer was distorted by the waves of a jacquard with mixed threads. Coloured cords were inserted into a poncho with delicate, fine, almost transparent crochet stitches. Coats were made in patchworks of different wools and stitches. A khaki green waffle jacquard cardigan looked similar to undergrowth moss.
“Our style is linked to the street, subculture and art. We start with the fabric and then build the collection. In fact, it’s as if we were making two collections, one textile and one clothing. That’s our uniqueness. We try to create a style”, summarises Mauro Simionato, who works with a dozen creative craftsmen. Distributed to some twenty top addresses around the world, Vitelli recently collaborated with the American brand Collina Strada, creating special fabrics for stylist Hillary Taymour, regenerated from recycled yarns, which did not go unnoticed at the last New York Fashion Week.
Pop exuberance for Shuting Qiu
Absent for three seasons, Shuting Qiu returned to the Milanese catwalks with a bright and punchy collection, a great success. Colours, patterns, prints and decorations were present from head to toe through an explosion of textures in an exuberant style, both pop and rich. The young Chinese designer started with her iconic nylon tights and jumpsuits with multiple designs and prints (also available as long gloves), which she combined with patchwork garments, often matching the tights, enhanced with precious embellishments. She has an undeniably great sense of chromatic rhythm.
The short dresses with flared sleeves were cut from different fabrics (silk, lace, satin, brocade) salvaged from her previous collections and reassembled with taste. Micro-jackets and tweed skirts were trimmed with fur, as were down jackets, and decorated with beaded fringes, floral embroidery, sequins, crystal garlands, while glittering smiley faces are scattered throughout several garments.
Shuting Qui also had fun layering pieces, like a bra and underwear adorned with stones, the result of a collaboration with Triumph, which she enhanced by putting over graphic playsuits and second-skin knits.
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