Arthur Arbesser put considerable effort into creating an atmosphere for his first Milan Fashion Week runway show. He hired British vocalist and composer Jordan Hunt for a moody melodic performance at one end of the runway, positioned a giant white cat sculpture at the other end and had a model pose as a reclining Lolita in the middle. The staging served to support the collection’s Balthus inspiration, as well as maintain the intimate feeling of Arbesser’s former presentations, as he said backstage.

 

The pressure for emerging designers to upgrade to the catwalk before they’re ready clearly comes from somewhere. It’s a shame to see someone like Arbesser devote his resources to runway production when the clothes aren’t developed enough to warrant it. His collection of girlish innocence on the verge of womanhood featured some solid, wearable pieces, such as a striped knit shift, two white sweaters each with a single floral motif, and a pair of overalls done in a gentle utilitarian cut and featuring a faded a watercolor cat print. But despite a naïve charm, the lineup needed more substantial designs.

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