Carlo Volpi showcases wacky knitwear collection at Pitti Uomo
Carlo Volpi first caught the fashion world’s attention at Who Is On Next? Homme, the emerging menswear designer competition he won last June, and has now made the headlines with his very first fashion show, held on Thursday at Pitti Uomo 91 in Florence. It was a homecoming for the thirty year old designer, born in Limite sull’Arno near Florence and based in London since 1998.
"Since winning the Who Is On Next? [competition], things have changed. I have been able to work with knitwear manufacturers, while before I looked after everything myself, including production. Many opportunities have cropped up, and I'm negotiating with a showroom for distribution,"said the music-loving designer, who until now has been retailing his knitwear on the web alone.
Carlo Volpi decided to hit hard with his first show, going for an anti-conventional swagger and for all that is "socially unacceptable", while returning to his first love, underground music, with soprano cabaret artist Ernesto Tomasini centre-stage, setting the tempo atop some scaffolding.
The designer plunged the audience into a night-club atmosphere, featuring a cameo by Disco Sally, a septuagenarian who was a regular at New York's Studio 54, who is portrayed flipping the finger and shouting 'Say No' on one of Volpi's sweaters, while on another hooded sweater a set of dentures is laughing uproariously, in the midst of a lozenge pattern.
The colour palette for this disco-themed collection is dark with occasional flashes of colour, a departure from Carlo Volpi's normally flamboyant style.
Some of the models wore knitted woollen jumpsuits, their heads hidden under dark balaclavas splashed with vibrantly coloured silicone dribbles: a yellow or red smear on the top of the skull, or turquoise tears dripping down a black balaclava.
Elsewhere, slogans like 'Disco damaged' or 'Disco monster' are printed in zany fashion on the front of cable-knit sweaters.
Individual knitwear pieces are created using a combination of different techniques, for example a cable-knit pattern in the bottom section and rib-knitting on the upper one. All the items are infused with a pop, amusing mood, making Carlo Volpi's collection remarkable for its zest and inventiveness.
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