No, this isn’t a new label. You’ve seen the brand before simply as Philosophy, or Philosophy 1984. This is the brand started by Alberta Ferretti that had rather fallen by the wayside. Hardly anyone noticed when, in 2014, the label hired Lorenzo Serafini as its Creative Director. Serafini, who had previously been lead womenswear designer for both Roberto Cavalli and Dolce & Gabbana, began re-growing the label and has now branded it as his own, making a bold statement in Italy’s ready-to-wear world.
Looking through today’s collection, one can still see some of the style influences Serafini picked up from his previous employers. The low-plunging necklines, tight fitting pants and short skirts are reminiscent of Roberto Cavalli. The broad belts, full skirts that move as one walks, and affinity for ruffles could be attributed to his time with D&G. Yet, there is much more here that is totally the work of Serafini alone and those are the best parts.
Starting the collection are a set of crochet pieces that are very loosely and seductively knit. Depending on how one wears and styles them, they could be either very seductive or very revealing. While there is the potential downside of the being easily snagged, they’re also unique in that we’ve not seen much in the way of creative yarn work this season. There’s really nothing on the shelves at this moment that holds the same look and attraction.
Serafini has built a lot of seductiveness into this collection. Look at dresses and tops with spaghetti straps and notice how they sit a little lower on the chest. Consider the corseting built into denim pieces, forcing some old-world femininity into contemporary fabric. Watch how easily blouses slip off shoulders (there was more than one “accident” on the runway) and the sheerness of lace on the bodice of formal dresses. He’s not shy about making women look sexy.
At the same time, though, he shows some real artistry. The way he works denim in this collection is non-traditional. A super-short A-Frame dress with frayed edges and lace ruffles at the neck and sleeves causes the denim to loose its blue-collar inferences. Toss a denim corset over a very short pair of denim shorts and a yellow print shirt with ruffles and the accompanying denim boots give one a very different perspective of the wild, wild west. He treats denim as a more elegant fabric rather than a workhorse.
Throughout the collection, one finds plenty of color, multiple variations in skirt shapes and diagonal hems, and an over-abundance of very broad belts sitting more around the rib cage than on the waist. Ruffles are everywhere. Chiffon, tulle, and lace all float in the breeze created by the model’s walk. Everything is very feminine, very sensual, and very Italian. Lorenzo Serafini has put his stamp of ownership on the Philosophy label. We hope he continues to develop this style and keep the creativity flowing.