Milan Fashion Week has come and gone in a flash. The six-day-long event officially closes today but the fashion press have already migrated to Paris, where Simon Porte Jacquemus will present his Spring 2018 collection tonight. However, a generally solid Milan was comprised of mostly strong collections from designers. There were debuts aplenty, tributes galore, references ranged from Italian futurism to Joan Miró to The Talented Mr Ripley. Marco de Vincenzo’s show on Friday afternoon caught this critic’s eye. Throughout the years he has progressively enhanced his output, while also carving himself a niche spot in the Italian city. His work is characterised by glamour, infused with a casual insouciance. Of late, his designs have been punctuated by gothic inflections which served to further enrich his fabrication and silhouette.
Scenes from Jaws (1975), King Kong (1976), Lolita (1962), The Shining (1980) were depicted on needlepoint handbags, which the models carried elegantly, conveying notions of the upper class. Notably, two of the films referenced in the 30-year span of de Vincenzo’s references are by historic director Stanley Kubrick. Certainly, one felt the influence of Kubrickian perversity in both the styling and gothic execution.
He contemplated Italian summer’s of yore, while also mining his personal life. He explored the 1960s to the 1990s, incontrovertibly different times to the one we live in now. Rather esoterically, he emblazoned graphics reading ‘Ultrapharum’ and ’Triskelion’ on his clothing; both are names formerly used for Sicily.
A recurring motif in the Spring 2018 shows has been the personal exploration. Designers have loaded their work with biographical material. One recalls the Antonio Berardi in London: he, coincidentally, referenced his Italian heritage and told the story of his immigrant parents who moved to England from Sicily, the same island de Vincenzo hails from. (The duo at Dolce & Gabbana also consistently reference their Sicilian roots in their Italian-centric work.) The effect is an authentic glimpse into the lives of designers who are generally quiet about their backgrounds. In this case, in Milan, de Vincenzo was more interested in capturing the air of the time, rather than his own experiences. It didn’t achieve the same honesty and wholesomeness as it did at Berardi, but it did boast a fierce spirit.
Ultimately, de Vincenzo endeavours to create an unmistakably artful environment. He does that with his engaging set For the most part it works, with a few falters hither and thither. His spring show was strong but one caught glimpses of recent Prada and Gucci collections and it prevented it from being a standout show.