For Francesco Scognamiglio, it was a short leap from the sacred to the profane as he showed a collection of flimsy dresses that he described as a tribute to the statue of the Veiled Christ by Giuseppe Sammartino, on display in his native city of Naples.
“When I see the Veiled Christ, I feel like I have a collapse all the time,” the designer explained backstage. “It’s kind of chiffon on Christ’s body and it looks wet.”
How you go from a statue of a lifeless Christ covered in a transparent shroud to this hot-blooded display of lingerie-inspired looks is God’s own private mystery — in the words of Sailor Ripley in “Wild at Heart.” It felt disappointingly familiar, as if all roads inevitably lead to the boudoir.
They ranged from babydoll dresses to voluptuous chiffon gowns trailing detached ruffles. Elsewhere, ruffles were used to underline the curve of the breasts on a sheer gown, while ultrashort dresses in brocade or white mikado silk came with barely-there lace panels at the chest.
Scognamiglio, who is preparing to launch a couture line in Paris thanks to new financial backing from Malaysian entrepreneur Johann Young, felt he was treading a line between sex and sensibility — even if sex appeared to win the battle for his creative soul.