Sunnei is seeing double with a new women’s collection that debuted on the men’s runway in a sky-high venue at Palazzo Pirelli. Women’s has been a long time coming, according to designers Simone Rizzo and Loris Messina, and springs from exactly the same place as the men’s.
“When we first launched the line we wanted to include women’s wear, but we were not happy with the actual result, so we decided to wait,” Messina said. “The crucial point is that we didn’t want to just make the same clothes in smaller sizes, we actually wanted to develop a full, credible women’s range. And now, finally, we are ready,” he told WWD last month.
The upbeat, coed show was heavy on oversize silhouettes, including wide-leg jeans, tailored trousers and cargo pants; raincoats with thick candy stripe linings, and hoodies so big they could fit two people. In the hands of Rizzo and Messina, though, the proportions worked on both men and women.
While the mood and colors were unmistakably Nineties — with anoraks and cargo pants the color of ripe tomatoes; vaguely clownish blue overalls with snaps running down the side, and a jazzy palette that took in electric blue, bright yellow and tangerine — there was a sophisticated edge to the collection.
Tailoring was impressive, as in a cream suit with a boxy, double-breasted shirt jacket. It was styled with a pair of mauve and aqua chunky platform sandals, a nod to the thick-soled shoes that were all the rage back then. A female model showed it off, but it could have easily worked on a man, platforms included. Ditto for the roomy salmon suit with the patch pockets and belted waist.
“This is how Loris and I lived the Nineties,” said Rizzo, adding that the collection was “the image of a boy and a girl, with their young and carefree attitude, visiting Piazza Duomo for the first time.”
The attitude may have been young and carefree — with a sense of wonder reinforced by the sweeping views from the 31st floor of the Pirelli tower — but the collection was far from naive. The two designers know exactly what they’re doing.