Crowds at this season’s Milan Fashion Week have been the largest I’ve ever seen them. Labels that just a few seasons ago presented in rooms of maybe 200 people have moved to larger facilities with well over 1,000 in attendance. I’m sure this is due in no small part to the promotion of the “Made in Italy” label by the country’s fashion council. Why those promotional efforts work so well, though, is because of designers such as Ermanno Scervino who keep classic Italian traditions of quality tailoring and design alive.
Classic femininity and refinement are really the only way to describe this spring/summer collection from the self-taught Florentine who can seem to do no wrong. His fitted silhouettes are matched perfectly this season to 60s stylings that remind one at once of classic Italian beauties such as Sophia Loren. Yet, these are undeniably modern pieces at the same time, with fabrics and textures that are trendy and desirable. Italian women have long loved this label and with collections like this it is easy to understand why.
Scervino plays to his strengths with a pastel-oriented collection that starts with textured green raffia that in some ways reminds one of a well-manicured lawn. He then mixes the green with blue for a true earth and sky feeling that just screams spring. Two piece ensembles are what work best in the early part of the collection, heavy with strapless tops and carefully tailored pencil skirts. Yes, there is a strong sense of sensuality, but also a glamorous refinement that is missing from a majority of collections. There are a handful of floral prints in the mix, along with some carefully considered applique during a blue phase before Scervino takes the collection into white leather, intricately styled and perforated carefully.
Laser cutting takes over once the collection moves into leather and it is no simple feat that Scervino has managed to take this very modern technique and adapt it well to these 60s styles. One could easily imagine Claudia Cardinale wearing one of these lovely ensembles, yet there is no question these are 2015 designs. What he does with a couple of coats in particular is nothing short of awe inspiring.
The only curious move I found with the collection was his decision to keep a silver-toned python print in the mix. While he handles the print well, it definitely has that “two seasons ago” feel to it that doesn’t quite mesh with the rest of the collection.
Coats are a major player this season and Scervino brings back many of those beautiful 60s pieces, including those with broad lapels and shoulder-baring styles. They are sufficiently gorgeous in raffia, but again, when done in white leather with the most intimate of laser cut designs, one simply cannot reach for their credit card quickly enough.
Ermanno Scervino has an incredible instinct for designing women’s clothes that are glamorous, well refined, and still contemporary. This season he gives us a collection that truly demonstrates what the “Made in Italy” label is all about and women around the world benefit from his effort.
Photo credit: Regis Colin Berthelier