Leave it to Arthur Arbesser to have the priest who baptized him become passionate about the designer’s calling and reach out well in his 90s to offer a digital archive of swatches bearing prints of Renaissance paintings.
Serendipitous as it was, it matched the designer’s arty take on fashion. His fall collection went beyond the Bronzino and Pontormo paintings on the textiles he received, which he filtered through a neon-hued patina and arranged in patchwork on full skirts, trucker jackets and silk shirts.
He also channeled painters’ preparatory palettes in faded brushstrokes on fluid pencil skirts matched with knitwear bearing carpet patterns, while colorful Renaissance church windows informed harlequinesque checks on fuzzy pullovers, knitwear bralettes and pajama pants. Everything came accessorized with ceramic jewelry developed with his designer friend Davide Da Ros of Cielo Studio Milano, which recalled early Marni accessories that the fashion pack obsessed over.
Arbesser’s charming artistic touch has been his strength and deserves more credit.