Creative director Massimiliano Giornetti really isn’t that old. In fact, he’s one of a great group of young designers that are proving they have what it takes to make a difference in Italian fashion design. However, his inspiration for this spring/summer season goes well back before he was born, before I was born, to a group of paintings from the late 19th and early 20th century. As a result, Giornetti gives us a look that many would define as classic, a more quite level of refinement that avoids opulence and rejoices in the simplicity of comfort.
By simplicity, though, I don’t mean minimalistic. This is Milan after all, not Paris. There are straps and belts and carefully considered seams. There are layers and ruffles and gathers at the ankles on trousers. There are bows and ribbons, fringes and furs, and true to the house form, enough different pairs of shoes to require the construction of an additional closet. There is a lot of detail, but it’s undercover, stowed away so that the beauty of the whole garment or ensemble can shine.
Giornetti does a lot with stripes, pleats, and large blocks of color. The bare shoulder look we’ve seen almost everywhere definitely gets his attention, but he then gives it a modest touch by adding capes and capelets to several of the looks. Modesty becomes this collection, in fact. Even though there are some sheer panels up around the shoulders, this isn’t a flashy or seductive collection in the contemporary sense. Silhouettes run long and there’s not a dress in the set whose hem comes any higher than the top of the calf. The pieces very well capture the sense of demureness seen in the paintings that were their inspiration.
If there is any distraction here it is the earrings. Giornetti, like Prada, likes balls on the end of a chain. Giornetti’s are more plain than Prada’s, but what captures one’s attention on the runway is that some are hanging from delicate chains as much as four inches long! If models were wearing their hair down, we might not notice as much, but with everyone’s hair tightly back there’s nothing to keep the balls from bouncing all over the place and those on the longest chains were beating up the poor models as they made their walk. The pieces are nice, but one should definitely consider the length and one’s hair style before purchasing.
Giornetti proves that one does not need to be shocking or provocative to produce a beautiful and contemporary collection. While the styles may not appeal to those who feel a need to rebel, for those past that point in their lives this collection is quite welcome.