“Kitch” Versus “Art”

Fall Winter 2011-12

March 1, 2011

By Gianmarco Gentile

Milan, Italy – The show opens with a celebration of Italy’s 150 years since the reunification: a big colored velvet Italian flags is hung above the entrance, with an embroidered golden “Roccobarocco” logo on it.

The show’s first outfit embodies the main themes of the collection: love for Italy, tradition, and nostalgia of the past – yet everything is forwarded towards the future.

Brightness and optimisim are conveyed through strong colors: acid green, fuchsia, pink, yellow violet: jackets have exaggerated shoulder pads pointing upwards, but lenghts are reduced to the minimum. Dresses and skirts are fitted, they slip gently revealing shapes and curves. The decor is contemporary, with paint sprayed on worn fabrics, wool is combed and burned as if dozens of cigarettes had fallen on dresses and coats. Details are overstated: silvered Austrian knots, trimmings and chains forming belts, sequined black satin shirts encrusted with Swarovsky details.

“Kitch” versus“Art”. Playfulness versus seriousness. Old roots versus technological innovation. These contrasts are carried out as if the show was a circus: models wear oversized top hats on undersized cardigans: there’s a constant play with tradition, especially with  typical italian fabrics of the past decades. Pied de poule and lace are the leitmotives of the collection. Every now and then you can spot coats, skirts, jackets and sweaters with lace linings, lace prints or oversized pied de poule prints, as if they were to give the look a touch of studied tacky. The 70s inspiration is clear throughout all the outfits: ankle-long pvc blach hyper-fitted dresses, macro-shirts with jewel-like buttons on multicolored, rose-printed balck and fuchsia leggings. Silvered, spray-painted, pied de poule printed down jackets with fur trimmings – all in one garnment.

What one likes the most? A Mariella Burani-like black flounced tulle skirt, very light, made of different layes of fabric, very short on the front and very long on the back, with a very little train.

Very choreographic and ironic. A touch of pop-punk highlighted by black lipstick and smokey eyes make up, matched with a simple bright red cotton shirt and a short, black jacket with sharp, pointing shoulder pads. And a black top hat.

Britney Spears’ “The Circus Tour” costume designer would have appreciated it a lot.