Anyone with even the mildest couch-potato inclinations is acquainted with the trauma of being engrossed by your favorite TV show, only to be cruelly interrupted by a loud beep and the dreaded rainbow of test-pattern stripes. No signal. Now what to do?
Marco de Vincenzo channeled that experience into his fall collection, working with the idea of forced disconnection and how it opens your eyes to the pleasures all around you. He was drawing on the TV-viewing memories of his childhood. But “this is a very modern story,” he insisted backstage. “We are always connected and sometimes we need to experiment with life simply by living.” To that end, he cast a charming, fresh perspective on items and concepts that are familiar, not only to his brand — vivid color, texture, a vaguely retro, very Italian hand — but to the everyday wardrobe as well.
The rainbow test patterns were reimagined as glittered stripes on a lame shirtdress with a ruffled hem, a giant duvet coat and puffer wrap, and down the backside of black pants that were plain in front. There was a sweetness and naivete to school uniform plaids done as extra-wide bell-bottoms and apron dresses; likewise to cozy cardigans and tunic dresses decorated with pixelated flower buds. The graphic black-and-tan checks that appeared on fantasy faux furs and the scalloped brown-and-black patterns on a coat were meant to evoke home interiors, something one knows well and remembers fondly. The collection was full of statement fashion pieces, bold but not jarring, a description that applied to de Vincenzo’s handbags that were beaded with images of a HIV and AIDS red ribbon, a vigil candle and a dark-skinned hand holding a light-skinned one. They gently sent a message without preaching. The special part of his lineup was its appealing level of comfort, something that felt as right for the times as the idea that it’s possible to disconnect and still be aware.