MSGM, Shi.RT and Vitelli revive Italian-made fashion in Milan
Milan Fashion Week has once again shone a spotlight on new creative visions imagined by inventive designers, not all of whom are necessarily young, but who all know the sector well and are now positioning themselves on the market with original and relevant projects. This weekend, in particular, the already well-established brand, MSGM, showed what it's worth, alongside new labels Shi.RT, led by Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi, and Vitelli, the knitwear brand from Mauro Simionato.
For its return to the runway, MSGM chose as its venue the park in the new neighborhood of Porta Nuova, with its beds of lavender and herbs growing at the foot of skyscrapers. Designer Massimo Giorgetti sent out a group of joyful and cheeky young girls with rainbow-colored beach sandals, visors and little lunchboxes. The looks were fresh and dapper with a markedly summery style.
The fabrics, which included cotton, jersey and stretch, were all about lightness, and were used in midriff-bearing outfits that exuded a youthful and relaxed spirt, while vibrant and fluorescent colors infused the ensembles with energy. In particular, this effect could be seen in frilled crop-tops and elastic bras that were worn over other clothes for a flashy touch.
Giorgetti also played with checks, from classic gingham – used in shorts, blouses, pants, tops, skirts and polos in shades of pink, green and orange – to the tartan seen in tweed jackets with frayed edges. He also worked in a series of flowery prints that ranged from 70s-style florals to patterns channeling impressionist paintings. Dresses and lacy tracksuits completed the easy-to-wear and highly desirable wardrobe.
There was a punchy pop atmosphere over at Shi.RT, the brand founded by Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi in 2019, which focuses on cotton shirts and dresses. Over the course of the last few seasons, the label's offering has expanded to include tops, skirts and pants, all while staying faithful to its original concept. The products are 100% Italian and can be worn by both young women and more mature ladies, all while boasting a relatively accessible price tag. Shirts are sold for 98-100 euros, while prices for more elaborate dresses don't rise beyond 500 euros.
The strategy seems to be working for the brand. "Last season, in the middle of the pandemic, our sales jumped up 30%. We're currently in around 50 top boutiques, in China and Taiwan, but also in Europe, especially in Switzerland, Germany, France and Belgium. Even with less money, our customers are prepared to spend, but they want a real product that they can put on," confided Rimondi backstage.
For next summer, the design duo have taken inspiration from the colors of Yves Saint Laurent and the chromatic shapes of American designer Stephen Burrows, as well as the paintings of a Dutch artist they discovered on Instagram. The result was a bold, multicolored and shimmery collection.
The pieces, all of which were made in three types of cotton – poplin, cady and gaufré – were easy-to-wear and were always elevated with a twist, from 80s-inspired pointed shoulders to large bows tied at the waist with a pair of sleeves, as though models had wrapped a shirt around their hips. Most notably, however, the designers used sequins of all sizes and colors in order to brighten up the vast majority of looks on the runway.
Vitelli, for its part, represents one of the most interesting new developments in Italian-made fashion and is currently distributed in a dozen of the hottest stores around the world. Taking inspiration from nomads and the hippie movement, the brand's latest collection was unveiled on Friday, in the 10 Corso Como outlet, where Carla Sozzani herself made an appearance in order to provide encouragement for designer Mauro Simionato during his first ever runway show.
"We are the multi-ethnic punks of Italian couture," proclaimed the brand in a note setting the tone for the show. The label's knitwear pieces with loose, extra-long sleeves were delicate and fine, almost transparent, creating an impression of fragility. Some coats and pants seemed to have been embroidered with a complex tangle of threads. Other pieces were composed of knits that looked like felt, while the stripes of maxi-ponchos were stretched into natural curves. The looks had a coarse, almost primitive style.
"It's experimental knitwear inspired by the Italian musical movement from 1979-80, Cosmic, and by the youth of today. The challenge was to show all the typologies and treatments that we've developed over the last few years, while also presenting Vitelli as a contemporary label that's full of Italian style," explained Simionato.
Born in Veneto, the 39-year-old designer founded the label in 2016 after years of experience in the sector, firstly as the founder of Milanese multi-brand showroom 247 and footwear label Volta, then as consultant creative director for brands including Belstaff, Barena, Golden Goose and Clarks. His encounter with knitwear specialist Giulia Bortoli was a fundamental experience that introduced him to the world of knits.
This was the start of Vitelli, a collective of a dozen creative artisans, who conduct experiments with thread, reclaiming the ends of spools that are usually thrown away, as well as threads from textile offcuts, to create hybrid textures partway between knits and fabrics.
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