“Liz Taylor meets a mod gang.” That’s how Lorenzo Serafini summed up his Philosophy collection. On his mood board backstage, photographs of the Hollywood actress were mixed with black-and-white images from the Swinging Sixties, adding up to a vision that was equal parts sexy and tough.
It was a departure for Serafini, whose usual comfort zone is Victoriana seen through an Eighties lens (he often cites Brooke Shields as a muse). Here, he contrasted hourglass figures with elements of tailoring.
“Actually, I always love this kind of duality of a female soul — the soft and the hard, the romantic and the strength,” he explained. “This time, it’s never too romantic. There’s always an edge.”
He opened with an ocelot-print calf hair mini trenchcoat worn over a black polo neck, à la Edie Sedgwick. Then came a black Lurex short-sleeved sweater paired with high-waisted cropped pants in a matte black rubber-coated silk that had fetish overtones.
The designer injected the romance via frothy tulle bustier dresses that carried a whiff of “Like a Virgin”-era Madonna. The more overt lingerie elements were also a nod to Taylor’s iconic performance in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” though here again, a kinkier element crept in, like the black velvet and crystal harness on a checked wool bra top.
In an effort to keep the looks from sliding into pastiche, Serafini stuck to a monochrome palette. It worked most of the time. While the full-skirted looks were a throwback to a time when women wore girdles, his micro minis reminded you that the sexual revolution was not far behind.