I love the way that Francesco Scognamiglio talks. I like it because his clothes are the conviction with which he speaks. The press release published a quote from him, saying how delighted he is that fashion has the ability to continue the storytelling of Italian excellence. This country takes fashion extremely seriously, and many think Milan is still the international capital of fashion. Does it have the best fashion designers in the world? Debatable. Let's take this back a step. Is it the home of the best artists in the world, of all time? Debatable. Is it the home of the best sculptors in the world, of all time? Setting aside Rodin, yes, yes, yes – triple yes. And, that tonight is what we saw at Scognamiglo: sculpture coming alive, as wearable fashion.
For S/S 16, Francesco Scognamiglo took direct inspiration from a statue, which stands in the San Severo Chapel in Naples. A baroque masterpiece, carved by Giuseppe Sanmartino in 1753, this mythical sculpture is of the veiled Christ. You’ve got to admire the Italian confidence for taking on such a reference.
Angelic white and cream dresses opened the collection, in chantilly lace and silk. Inspired by Christ’s marble wonder melting on the body, handmade hemlines were purposely left open and uneven as if they too were melting. Crisp statuesque trousers added a graphic structure to the collection. 3D jacquards and incredible purple metallic embellishments in Papal purple decorated the pieces, while point d’esprit lace and trompe l’oiel knickerbocker dresses saw the designer play with boundaries of sensuality.
When an incredible eau de nil ruffled chiffon gown flecked with copper metallic took to the altar/runway, every boy and girl took a picture. I guess that’s the power of aestheticism in communicating the divine. In terms of fashion prayers, at least, one major one has been answered for the designer - for S/S 16, he will debut his first couture collection in Paris.