For the third season running, Marc de Vincenzo let childhood memories color his collection, this time looking back to the Eighties when his aunt Santina from California spent her summer holidays with his family in Sicily. “She looked like an alien because her way of thinking was different than a Sicilian,” de Vincenzo said before the show. Santina had to cover up to go to church and had what de Vincenzo fondly remembers as “trashy taste,” bearing gift baskets of oversize T-shirts.
The collection was sweet though not nearly as sophisticated or elaborate as de Vincenzo’s skills allow. He played Sicilian clichés — retro underpinnings peaking through black lace, giant cross necklaces, black knee-high hosiery — against American — big polo shirts, bags worn as fanny packs, denim jackets and skirts seamed in multicolored crystals and dreamy California pastels. Trends were checked off: sweatshirts, workwear, a slogan or two. Much of it was cute. Toy dogs and lambs — Sicilian or American, hard to tell — turned into repeat prints on wispy sheaths; a shirtdress in blurred pastels with tiered ruffled sleeves; and rattan baskets filled with fruit and glittery booties. But de Vincenzo is capable of much more than cute.