Jezabelle Cormio loves a concept show. For spring 2023 it was family life, with babies and little kids appearing on the runway, while this time the theme was girl power and the challenges that female athletes face.
Cormio swapped last season’s bohemian home venue for an indoor sports center and soccer pitch. Guests walked through a door fringe made from rows of plastic-wrapped sweets emblazoned with a soccer ball logo.
Inside they saw two teams of little girls playing soccer, and scoring points in nets adorned with satiny pink and green ribbons.
“I was imagining what the world would be like upside-down, and an Italy obsessed with women’s soccer,” said Cormio, adding that she wanted to give value to “girls and girly culture,” and call out the everyday chauvinism she experienced as a young woman.
It didn’t take long for her point to be proven.
Before the show began two male guests decided to join the girls’ game. They towered over the junior athletes, fought for the ball and even scored a few goals in the ribbony nets.
They must have missed the show notes, which talked about female players (in Italy, at least) needing to work “twice as hard to be recognized” and to be patient “while enduring one test after another.”
Ain’t that the truth.
The collection itself was a blend of sporty, athletic and fairy princess styles, with a big focus on Cormio’s signature skinny, pastel knits. She also launched her first accessory: a bag shaped like a soccer ball.
Cropped sweaters, striped hoodies and ribbed knit skirts and trousers had a layered, early morning warm-up feel, while the orange fluoro toggle and buttons gave a black topcoat utilitarian flair.
Long stretchy dresses covered in a star print and overdyed, or gold-streaked, denim skater skirts were easy, youthful and made for ease of movement. Models wore sturdy ballerina-style flats, or shoes inspired by soccer cleats. No high heels hobbling anyone here.
Sparkly streamers that flowed from silk chiffon scarf tops or the hemlines of evening dresses had a sweet, anime feel, as did iridescent dresses adorned with dark bows. It would have been great to see more of these colorful, special pieces in the show.
The soccer ball bags, dipped in bright orange, yellow and pink with contrasting spots, should play well on social, and draw attention to Cormio’s point about women, and girls, staking their ground in male-dominated sports and, in the case of Friday’s pre-show match, sparring with the big boys.