A touch of austerity seemed to hit Anna Molinari’s Blumarine collection this morning. The normally sexy, super-sensual collection that we’ve seen from this label was toned down considerably for this spring/summer collection. There was far less lace and much less embroidered sheers than what we’re accustomed to seeing. Instead, we were treated to lovely cotton and jersey-knit pieces that seem perfect for a day at the beach or just lounging around in one’s own garden.
Central to several of the looks in this collection is a cropped bra top that comes in enough colors to match just about everything else Ms. Molinari presents. The top plays to a couple of strong trends for this season, leaving a sufficient amount of bare shoulder while also giving the piece a pseudo-naughty feel by copying the cup shape of a bra. Ms. Molinari uses the top often enough that one might well only need to purchase one of the tops and then pair it with most any of the other pieces in the collection.
Ms. Molinari also delivers a number of very simple cotton dresses that are perfect for the season. Some are in solid colors of brown, blue, or pink while others have very nice floral prints that dance along their hems. Perhaps the best of these is a pink/white gingham checked dress that has sweet and innocent written all over it. There is a tremendous amount of pink in this collection, a nice counter-balance to the darker browns and blues with which the show started. She works the color through several silhouettes, all of which are surprisingly conservative for this label.
There is a lot here to like, but sometimes it only takes one bad element to destroy a whole aesthetic. For this collection, that element was a large straw hat with an overly floppy bring and the straw-covered shoes that went along with it. This isn’t the first distractingly floppy hat we’ve seen this season and probably won’t be the last. With this collection, though, the hats seemed to take the looks from politely elegant to ordinary and common. Perhaps had she paired them with jeans or something that looked intentionally garden-worthy then the hats might not have been so poorly received. With such nice looks, though, the hats felt almost degrading.
She also, quite mysteriously, throws in a single fur coat right smack in the middle of everything. The look is totally out of season and is disruptive to the flow of the rest of the collection.
Fortunately, the hats are not there for the majority of looks and that coat only appears once. This is a beautiful collection even if it is more careful and conservative than what one might expect from the label. It will be interesting to see if Ms. Molinari stays with this concept or returns to the more sensual looks next season. Perhaps this is the start of a new direction for Blumarine.