MFW: CRISTIANO BURANI F/W 2014

Minimalism is very popular among designers and shoppers across Europe. The lines are clean and simple. The silhouettes are full and comfortable. As a design style, minimalism has converted a number of disciples and one of them would seem to be Cristiano Burani.

Well, almost.

Compared to his previous seasons, yes, the structure of Burani’s collection for fall/winter 2014 plays significantly more to the minimalist aesthetic. Shoulders are very broad and curved, lines are clean, styles are simple, and he even manages to do a decent enough job with folding leather, one of the things critical to being a really good minimalist designer. For the first few looks of this collection, it appears as though Burani has changed his design religion and joined the church of minimalism.

But then … he just couldn’t stay away. Prints. Nice, bright, metallic, artistic, and … complicated prints.

Then came the appliqued jewels.

And textured sweaters.

As much as he tried, Burani just couldn’t quit the traditions on which he’s built his label. Despite all the adornment, he did manage to keep the general minimalist structure up until all but the very last, few pieces, where he gave in to feminine tradition completely with ruffles and curves and sheer and texture. Burani’s use of a dropped waist is especially well done and manages to make those minimalist forms move a little as one walks.

Burani also plays some visual tricks with fur jackets, going with a light color in front and then surprising one with a back that is all black. When this jacket is worn over black slacks, the effect as the wearer passes is surprisingly dramatic.

Another surprise comes in the metallic coloured sheers. At first glance one doesn’t realize that the fabric isn’t opaque. There is enough glitter and shine to the garment to hide its translucence. So, again, it’s not until the wearer gets close, and possibly past, that one realizes they’ve been visually tricked.

Then, there are the two ensembles that almost look like original Star Trek uniforms. I’m not kidding. Of course, they’re not, but at first glance my geek radar spiked.

The one real negative to this collection is the shoes, which come with impossibly high and narrow heels. Most the models managed to get by, but a couple of girls found them difficult and one even had to remove a shoe to avoid turning her ankle a fourth time. Which models had difficulty with the shoes was most noticeable in the finale walk as the two who struggled walked significantly slower, creating large gaps in the line. Probably not a pair of shoes one wants to try if you’re not very talented with heels.

Cristiano Burani’s fall/winter collection is very attractive and very well done. If one is looking for pure minimalism, this isn’t your label, though … not yet.

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