Dear Diane and Shaded Viewers,
Constructivism met Japan with glazed glass panels and cubed platforms framing a tableau of models in Lucio Vanotti’s ss16 presentation, held yesterday in Milan. Asymmetry was a focus, though it was done with balance and clarity, rather than gimmick or a sense of something being ‘off’. Vanotti achieved this with his now-reputation for an elongated line, which this season occasionally recognised a slim, belt-tied waist, giving just the right amount of credit to the design opportunities of the female form, without – of course – ever offering it for desire. This collection indeed echoed a number of elements from the ss16 men’s offering; in line, print, and colour, which for me speaks of the maturity of a relatively new designer who’s not trying to run too fast. Also, a lovely pair of softly rounded trousers was continued from last season, this time in a beautiful brown/black stripe. This in itself was an interesting colour proposal for summer, and was made all the more convincing on the models with matching skin tone. A standout skirt again in this cocoa-brown, mimicked samurai-style culottes though with even-boxier pleating; a piece echoing the fundamentals of the collection. A particular red was less effective, though appropriately off-kilter with its peach tinge; it felt like a less convincing irregularity in the scene.
In any case, there’s a real allure building for Vanotti’s calculated minimisation. I think it’s because there isn’t a feeling of restraint about what he does. Nothing points to a struggle against excess. Simplicity seems to come easy to him; instinctually, even. This is what separates this Italian designer from a large group looking to a reduced aesthetic; the kinds who have recently streamlined their taste as a necessary business move at the cost of sincerity and the kind of magnetism that Vanotti created yesterday.