This story first appeared in the January 25, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Who: Assisi, Italy-born, Milan-based Vivì Ponti launched Vivetta, her own collection in 2008, and won Fresh Lounge’s Who’s Next contest in Paris the same year. With her platinum-blonde pixy cut, rounded glasses and Sixties-inspired look, the designer perfectly reflects the essence of her ready-to-wear line, which is an infusion of a playful, fairylike femininity.
Ponti’s signature retro style is evident in coats, dresses, blouses and skirts, all featuring simple shapes and embellished with ironic and funny details for a romantic yet surreal effect. She has one rule: No pants.
“I have never worn a pair of jeans in my life,” she underlined.
What: For the fall collection, Ponti focused on dresses. There are several eccentric styles, including a bustier model with a voluminous organza underskirt, as well as more commercial looks, such as midcalf crepe wool or alpaca shift dresses with leopard fake fur cuffs and collar. The soft palette includes powder pink, baby blue and cream, which are combined in striped blouses. Retail prices range from 70 euros, or $95 at current exchange, for a knitted dress to 120 euros, or $163, for a coat with fake fur details.
Where: Vivetta will show at the Mi Milano Prêt-à-Porter fair, Feb. 25 to 28.
Who: Jewelry brand Vernissage was founded in 2007 by Ilenia Corti, in collaboration with Matteo Mena. The line is completely handcrafted in Valenza, Italy, by artisans from Corti’s family business, a fine art jewelry company called Santagostino. It comprises unique pieces that are reproducible but never identical.
“To show the hidden core of the jewel, we highlighted its skeleton through a filigree of twisted gold,” Corti explained.
Each collection acts as a chapter of a dreamy fairy tale presented in unusual ways, such as through the photography of Sarah Moon or through Super 8 videos created by the designer.
Earrings, rings and pendants decorated with nature-inspired elements such as moths, bees and leaves, among others, come in oxidized and burnished gold paired with precious gems, or in a more affordable silver variant.
Vernissage is sold in prestigious stores worldwide, including Barneys New York in New York and Selfridges in London.
What: “The main inspiration for the new collection is fauna decay, in terms of how men rage against nature,” Corti explained. Burnished silver whistles refer to haunting, and a silver and gold ring, embellished with rubies and red enamel, features the image of a fawn trapped in a snare. The recent phenomenon of blackbirds falling dead in Arkansas also finds a place in the collection. Retail prices start from around 250 euros, or $340.
Where: Corti and Mena will present their new collection at the Mi Milano Prêt-à-Porter trade show.
Who: Stefano D’inzillo and Cosima Coccheri D’inzillo, Rome-based co-founders of accessories brand D’inzillo, both come from solid fashion backgrounds. D’inzillo has designed for firms including Gattinoni, Gianni Versace and Enrico Coveri, while Coccheri D’inzillo worked as a runway model in New York for Helmut Lang, Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan and as a consultant for fashion brands in Los Angeles.
The Rome-based duo, a couple in life as well as business, launched the line in 2009. It includes luxury belts featuring jewelry-inspired buckles, with prices from 250 euros to 400 euros, or $338 to $541.
“We consider our products not mere accessories, but real design items to be worn and admired,” said Coccheri D’inzillo. “We aim to design objects that can generate emotion in those who wear them.”
Handcrafted in Italy using traditional fine jewelry processes, D’inzillo’s “glam-rock” buckles mix metals with stones, semiprecious gems and crystals.
What: For the new collection, named Beyond the Gate, D’inzillo and Coccheri D’inzillo took inspiration from the gates of Coppedè, a Liberty-style neighborhood just north of Rome. “During a stroll in the area, we noticed wonderful decorative motifs on wrought iron railings, so we took some pictures and we started designing from those details,” Coccheri D’inzillo explained.
Besides abstract patterns, buckles feature flamingos paired with suede or waxed vintage leather. The palette includes vivid combinations of hot pink and orange, purple and green and turquoise and blue.
This year, the brand also will launch handbags, including a stressed leather small shoulder bag featuring a decorated buckle and a brass clutch with welded crystals, gems and metal studs.
Where: D’inzillo will bow at White, Feb. 25 to 27.
Who: Armed with a degree in fashion design at the Accademia di Moda e Costume in Rome, Giuseppe Fanelli cut his teeth working with important designers including Alberta Ferretti, Antonio Marras and Sophia Kokosalaki. After a brief foray into haute couture, last year he launched his own brand, Unravel 19022010, with business partner Margherita Brazzale.
“We want to deliver truly no-season collections that include fabrics of different weights, to be able to continuously satisfy buyers’ needs,” explained Vicenza, Italy-based Fanelli. “We offer ready-to-go, versatile pieces that can be worn in different ways.”
What: The brand’s fall collection debut comprises about 20 pieces made from viscose or cotton jersey and silk tulle. The front and back of these extremely linear and minimal clothes can’t be distinguished because the same image is reproduced twice, as if reflected in a mirror.
“Women can wear my pieces without any constraints. It’s all up to them,” said the designer. “These are supersilent clothes that don’t want to draw attention to themselves.”
The lineup includes a pleated below-the-knee dress made with eight silk tulle layers, and men’s-inspired heavy cotton pants with two classic pockets where the back side is identical to the front. Black is dominant, sometimes lightened by blush tones. Wholesale prices range from 90 euros, or $122, for a double-layer jersey maxi T-shirt, to 390 euros, or $530, for silk tulle maxidresses.
Where: Fanelli will showcase the collection at Touch, Feb. 25 to 27.
CRISTIANO BURANI FURS
Who: Parsons The New School for Design fashion design graduate Cristiano Burani, who already has his own ready-to-wear collection, is going to make his debut in the fur arena.
What: The namesake line is produced by Italian company Albertalli, which counts Gianfranco Ferré, Gattinoni and Mariella Burani among its clients.
“For this collection, I approached fur in an unconventional way, treating it like a fabric, punch cutting and dying the different leathers,” said Burani.
From cropped slim-fit jackets to trenches, all of the pieces feature asymmetric lines, combinations of different furs from more modern kidassia and xiangao varieties to classic and ultraprecious marten and mink furs, and sartorially rich embroideries. Cases in point: a cropped gold sable cape with horizontally set skins alternated with silk satin bands and Swarovski Elements on the cuffs, or a knee-length coat with black-dyed silver fox fur matched with iridescent organza in the same tones, featuring jewelry-inspired embroidered frogs.
“I think that this collection reflects my idea of the perfect wardrobe for women: femininity, luxury and strictly Made in Italy, which is a must,” said the designer.
The line, distributed by the Sari showroom in Milan, wholesales from 550 euros to 1,800 euros, or $744 to $2,434.
Where: The first Cristiano Burani Furs collection will be presented at Mifur, March 6 to 9.