A house fondness for bloom-bordered sheerness makes Blumarine a show that’s relished by the bawdy band of runway photographers—it’s their Friday morning double espresso. Outside the pit, however, that emphasis on garlanded nudity can feel unsettlingly anachronistic.
Yet to be understood, Blumarine needs first to be examined in terms of its anthropology. Anna Molinari’s line reflects an Italian sensibility, a Chi magazine (Italy’s answer to Us Weekly) reader’s raunch-touched interpretation of ethereal romance that Blumarine, fueled by its original success in knitwear manufacturing, gave rise to. And the audience at today’s show was ample evidence that this constituency is still in fine fettle. Thus the screen-print stemmed-rose-silhouette tulle skirts, shirts, and gowns, sometimes monochrome, sometimes in a reduced-rainbow palette accented with stripes. A jacket of pastel-sequined camouflage—designed to help you blend out of the background—was worn over a flower-appliquéd silk smock in violet beach stripe and some superwide, cut-at-the-side, pink Bengal-stripe pants.
Those pants pointed to the unexpected element in this lineup. Just as Rodolfo Paglialunga did for his debut Jil Sander collection—Spring 2015—12 months ago, team Blumarine turned to the completely fabulous, androgynous-dressing, progenitor Swiss photographer Annemarie Schwarzenbach for its thematic inspiration. Schwarzenbach very much is a now-appropriate cipher, and the interpretation of her here was expressed in high-cut, loosely pocketed, hardware-shorn field jacket–biker hybrids—and those pants. This was Blumarine’s nod to gender fluidity, and along with the masculine accent of that Bengal stripe, it reflected a sincere effort to flavor the house cocktail with a fresh dose. In chambray especially, and black satin up to a point, it kind of convinced. Although the photographers were disappointed. Written by Luke Leitch for Vogue.com