Take the look of Paris Hilton in “The Simple Life,” Reese Witherspoon in “Legally Blonde” and Amanda Seyfried in “Mean Girls,” mix them together, and you get a pretty clear idea of Blumarine’s spring 2021 show.

Life keeps teaching us that expectations and reality most of the time don’t coincide, but in the case of Nicola Brognano’s debut runway show for Blumarine, the gap was significant. Tapped by the brand’s new owner Marco Marchi to revamp the storied Italian fashion house, known for its feminine romanticism, Brognano kicked off his new adventure by showing a radical change of direction from both Blumarine’s aesthetic and his own style, expressed through his namesake label, now on hold.

Looking back to the early Aughts, the designer kicked off the show with faithful reproductions of Blumarine signature knits trimmed with mink fur, which he matched with slightly flared pants with slits at the bottom, and then started introducing frilled low-waisted midi skirts, mini-slipdresses in sorbet tones, other cropped floral knitted sets and foulard fringed tops matched with zebra and leopard print pants, as well as sheer disco mini frocks and deconstructed ruffled fluid styles.

The clash of prints, the overabundance of details and embellishments and the heavy-handed styling didn’t help Brognano’s effort to look fresh and elegant, which is expected from a designer who in the past few seasons with his own line charmed with interesting volumes and a young, spontaneous take on the feminine look.

Certainly, there could be no season more complicated than this one in which to relaunch a brand. As the world tries to find a new normality, hopefully the Blumarine star will return to shine brighter.

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