Dondup’s creative director Manuela Mariotti blended minimalism from the Sixties with volumes from the Eighties, but stayed clear of any of the “excess or eccentricity” of either era. While feminine, the collection almost has a feminist and androgynous streak. For example, a crop top with Lurex threads in a peachy shade was worn over loose grisaille pants, while an austere coat was softened by an ecological fur stole in bright colors. A duster coat was worn with a masculine oxford shirt and high-waisted jeans.
Mariotti showed a deft and confident hand with her outerwear designs. Among the standouts, a trenchcoat with a Loden structure but made in a technical fabric and the sheepskin biker jacket.
Former Valentino chairman and Vionnet co-owner Matteo Marzotto, who became a Dondup shareholder last year, said the company is investing in expanding outside of Italy, especially in Asia, and is starting up an online store. “There is a great working relationship and feeling with Andrea Ottaviano [partner at majority shareholder L Capital, now part of L Catterton] and [chief executive officer] Marco Casoni. Manuela and her team are fantastic, there are great projects in the pipeline,” Marzotto enthused. To be sure, the collection has evolved in a more complete and cohesive way around the core denim component.