Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,
A sandy summer beach, sun bleached, sun screened, sun burnt: such is the set of steventai’s new season. Picture Massimo Vitali’s motionless panoramas of populous Italian shorelines, but quivering with the genuine excitement of foreigners when they first set foot on the scene. It comes in primary hues, the yellow of Mediterrean suns in the drawings of children, and tiny embroidered characters diving deep into a pocket or surfing along its seam. Marinière stripes run along most outfits, printed by hand in steventai’s silk screen studio, in classic white-and-blue and other colours too, fading gradually here and there to the sunrays and salt. Sailors’ stripes and Sailor Moon’s ribbons, whose off-duty clumsiness the steventai girl surely recognises herself in – but hers is also, this time, the buoyancy of the tourist. Wave-like collars and two-tone trousers made for stepping in shallow waters are followed by a series of signature geeky details: fanny packs that can hold water bottles and buckled life vests, but in micro-pleated, lightweight suiting wool or sheer silk organza. Life buoys, kids’ flotation devices and other inflatables inspire puffy volumes, a sense of nostalgia and safety. But don’t mistake these as garments made for the beach – it’s a rainy British September, and we all could use more clothing that swish with the sound of seagulls.