For Lavinia Biagiotti, Rome’s Piazza del Campidoglio is “the most beautiful place in the world, a masterpiece of the Renaissance.”
Designed by Michelangelo Buonarroti on the Capitoline Hill, the landmark “is the heart of Rome,” said the designer, admitting she was keenly aware it would be a location where she needed to “tread lightly and carefully” in staging her brand’s spring 2023 show at dusk on Monday given the relevance of the venue.
That translated in one of her best shows to date, closed by captivating artistic projections from Stefano Fomasi lighting up the stately monuments in the background, also creating imaginative gigantic water spurts from the Fountain of the Goddess Rome, which the Biagiotti group is helping to restore starting next week.
Rome represented by a woman, placed in a high central niche, fit well with Biagiotti’s long-standing championing of women, always mindful of their comfort as they go about their daily lives. After all, she herself has been keeping busy, committed to steering the family company after her mother Laura’s death in 2017, holding the role of chair and chief executive officer, and at the same time getting her Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in shipshape for the 2023 Ryder Cup, to be held in Italy for the first time.
Indeed, golf was a recurring theme and inspiration for the collection, which had a British vibe running through it, exemplified by the tweed and checkered suits on the catwalk. But there was nothing fuddy- duddy about these looks, which included bouncy miniskirts, shorts and cute cropped jackets.
The show was opened by golf ace Alessandra Fanali, who showed her swing — albeit sans ball to avoid the risk of damaging the Roman landmark — followed by Isabeli Fontana in a long white crepe dress with the LB Golf monogram embroidered in gold. Gold threads and sparkles ran throughout the collection as delicate yarns lighting up argyle dresses and knits. Gold buttons ran across the length of a long black dress.
Knitwear has always been Biagiotti’s core business, but the designer with this collection further elevated the expertise, showing 3D silk weaves on feminine dresses and cardigans, or cashmere braids on bon ton suits.
Further telegraphing Biagiotti’s love for Rome, she created patchworks of city sites inspired by the works of 18th-century Roman landscape painter Carlo Labruzzi on dresses and pantsuits. The main pink, yellow and ochre colors of the prints looked faded by the sun and time — as they would be on the real landmark monuments in the city.
There was also a fun, colorful polka-dot pattern on Biagiotti’s now signature doll dresses with flounces.
A digital version of the show will close Milan Fashion Week on Sept. 26, and Biagiotti underscored that there is no rivalry with that city, but that she is “finding new ways to build a legacy.”
Biagiotti has been strengthening the company’s ties with the territory. In February she decided to hold her fall show at Rome’s Centrale Montemartini, the city’s first power plant dating back to 1912, which was converted into a museum in 1997, following another show on the Campidoglio and locations such as the museum of the Ara Pacis and the Maxxi museum in the Italian capital.