Lulù Poletti, who designs Melampo with her sister Anna, flipped through her history books and fashion archive, drawing on Victoriana, Eighties power looks and even Henri Matisse’s 1910 painting “Dance,” for the colors and shapes of this cool collection. “We collect vintage clothing, and we love studying shirt and sleeve details,” said Poletti, who staged a two-part presentation at 10 Corso Como.

One part featured smocked, roomy shirt dresses with fierce Eighties shoulders and flower prints, which the sisters developed in-house. Another flower-print dress with a nipped waist had a little cape over the shoulders and an open back. Shirts, many done in traditional men’s wear fabrics, came with structured and puffed Victorian sleeves.

All of this research and development is second nature to the sisters, whose family owns a clothing manufacturer near Pavia, outside Milan.

The second part of the collection was a collaboration with the Syrian illustrator Hamid Sulaiman, whose abstract images fused Matisse’s ring of dancing figures with protestors in a ruined Syrian city. The aim was to telegraph the message that hope and the survival instinct can never be stamped out.

Sulaiman images, and other abstract illustrations, appeared on long flowing dresses designed by the Polettis and were worn by five dancers who performed as part of the presentation.