Ilenia Durazzi’s brand is getting bigger and better.
After two seasons of showroom appointments, the designer staged the first real presentation for Durazzi Milano at Casa Corbellini-Wassermann, conceived by renowned architect Piero Portaluppi and currently housing the Massimo De Carlo contemporary art gallery.
The packed affair drew both the fashion and art scenes to the location, which fitted with Durazzi’s penchant for modernist architecture as well as her passion for artistic fields.
In her work, all these elements blend with her ever-present equestrian inspiration and her ultimate mission of celebrating female empowerment. But rest assured you won’t catch a slogan T-shirt in her collections, as Durazzi operates in subtler ways.
Cue the performance she staged at the presentation, in which portraits of female scientists, artists and intellectuals were projected on models’ faces. (Among the women Durazzi elevated as her guiding spirits, press notes listed activist Suzy Lake; writer Ottessa Moshfegh; first Egyptian astronaut Sara Sabry; multimedia artist Phoebe Boswell; scientist Silvia Franceschi; photographer and writer Carla Cerati; record-breaking jockey Sara Del Fabbro, and artist Mari Katayama).
The performance was a nod to “Some Living American Women Artists” by Mary Beth Edelson, who reworked Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper” by provocatively replacing the faces of the disciples with female artists of her time.
In their refined way, Durazzi’s collections ooze the same unapologetic attitude. Her designs’ sharp lines and impeccable tailoring are for modern, uber-elegant Amazons and telegraph confidence in a luxe and unconventional way. Exquisite coats pierced with metallic eyelets coexist with saddle-shaped skirts and riding boots, both signatures of the brand, but other compelling items were added for fall.
These included a felt bomber jacket; a supple leather suit; charming knits with furry effects; vinyl miniskirts and accessories adding a sleek counterpoint to the crafty textures, and a beautiful white shearling jacket that stole the show.
And that’s quite a statement, considering Durazzi even brought two real horses into the courtyard of the Milanese building to reiterate her equestrian reference. Bold move for a first presentation.