A Sense of Italian Chic

Friday, January 30, 2015

“We are believers in maximalism,” Tomasso Aquilano once said that backstage, moments before a runway show that was eventually splattered with baroque elements that reminisced aristocratic maidens of the past. Together with Roberto Rimondi, they make up Aquilano.Rimondi, an Italian house of nuanced exuberance and contemporary design.

The design duo first met at Max Mara where they started out as consultants before moving on to equally established and commercial brands like Gianfranco Ferrè and Fay, where they are still creative directors to this day. Thus, you could sense that contemporary appeal underneath the innovative layers of their collections that meld design and commercial viability. Intricate patterns, refined fabrics, and an unexpected vibrancy, their foundation years have certainly paid off.

Seasonal or not, Aquilano.Rimondi has always been a brand of the unexpected. “I try to distance myself from what is seasonal and think further ahead. That helps me to be in a dimension that is a bit more detached, and figure out what is next. It’s a surprise,” Roberto Rimondi remarked. And surprisingly, these surprises have somehow managed to pop up in various industry trend reports season after season, a sign of relevance in a highly saturated and competitive market.

Their flirtation with art continued this season for Resort 2015. But no, it wasn’t any artist or an art style that provoked them. This time, they looked into the artistry of a garden. It wasn’t an ordinary garden, mind you. This one had frogs – that came from a pond, perhaps. There might even have been rolling waves, or so we imagine. The organic panels of cheerful colours and asymmetrical peplums certainly implied that.

The starting point was however, a simple striped shirting fabric, or rather a pair of striped silk pajamas. We must be dreaming in our sleep. Bold combinations in modern silhouettes, that is what this Aquilano.Rimondi dream is about. There was a lot at play here. Sportif prints and streetwear vibes showed up in palettes of lilac and aquamarine, albeit engulfing the green of the grass.

It was a clever idea, a clever sense of nonchalance where flowers bloom when you least expect it. On one hand, it felt that they were trying to do too much but the overall message was clear – relaxed femininity signaling through a bed of wisteria flowers.

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