I’m waiting for the day we arrive for a Blumarine show only to look up and discover that creative director Anna Molinari is just sending naked models down the runway wearing nothing but block heels. The diminutive but formidable designer seems to delight in seeing just how far she can push the decency envelope and one has to wonder at times if she’s actually designing clothes or merely looking for creative ways to disguise being naked. Even her juniors line, blugirl, which showed yesterday, was at times flirting with danger as she tucked the front hem of long skirts into belts, putting the models’ underwear on display. I’m sure we’re only a couple of steps away from her designing the Emperor’s New Wardrobe.
This season, the Blumarine collection can be divided into three categories: stripes, flowers, and stripes with flowers. The fact that all three were heavy with sheer chiffon goes without saying at this point. What you’ll want to notice is that stripes are full of color and come in a variety of widths. They start out running vertically in perfect lines from top to bottom, but then move to thicker chevron stripes with darker colors. There are a couple of gowns where the stripes are subtle, but for the most part, the stripes are the dominant element.
Flowers are a Molinari trademark and the amount of detail and beadwork she has put into this collection is dizzying. They start playfully enough in the skirts of the opening ensembles, but eventually move to take over whole garments and a couple of times they are the only thing that interrupts the sheer fabric. In one impressive piece, the floral beadwork is so incredibly detailed that at first glance it appeared the model had tattooed sleeves. While Molinari’s flowers, mostly roses, are not as overwhelming as Oscar de la Renta’s, they are certainly a highlight we don’t see anywhere else in Milan.
A couple of other things are worth noting. Primarily, silhouettes run long and very full. At a couple of points, all that excess fabric caused some difficulty for models attempting to walk on this polished marble floor. I also found the large-pocketed cargo vests of a couple of ensembles to be an entertaining juxtaposition to all the sheer looks they covered. I guess we should be happy Ms. Molinari allowed her models to wear modest boy shorts under those garments.
Anna Molinari doesn’t design clothes for shy people. She is a very strong personality herself and the women who dare to wear Blumarine are likely to be the same. Still, one has to wonder how far away we are from not having anything to review.