Daring, experimental and multilayered are thoughts that came to mind at the first Vitelli runway show. Mauro Simionato established the knitwear brand in 2016 and has since drawn a collective of creative artisans, all of whom believe in a slower approach to fashion, including supplying upcycled fabrics, scraps and yarns to develop textiles at the Organic Knitting Theater, the brand’s material R&D center.
The look: Inspired by the journeys of spiritual wanderers across the “Overland” route — also known as the “Hippie trail” — in the 1960s and 1970s, the collective utilized every knitting technique one can think of for this arty crafty collection. Bulbous and often shapeless looks, with caftan-like vests, tight tops and ribbed pajama pants, as well as twisted tops and sweaters, were multilayered in more ways than one. Not only were different patterns juxtaposed for a clashing effect, but the abundance of textured surfaces on each look, if not each piece, was extreme.
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Quote of note: “We are native-fluid and responsible. We stand for a decolonized, cross-cultural future. We are the multiethnic punks of Italian couture,” the collective proclaimed in the show notes.
Key pieces: A gauge see-through sweater with elongated sleeves paired with textured flared pants was languid and sensual; blazers and shirtdresses embroidered with wool yarns in a rainbow color palette that appeared to be inspired by Jackson Pollock paintings; patchwork strapless dresses, twisted and crumpled with scraps of fabrics snaking over the bodice; crochet Bermuda shorts with floral pattern.
Takeaway: Simionato and the Vitelli collective are rising stars in the Milanese fashion scene, and their talent is indisputable. Their urge to prove it with such a multifaceted collection wasn’t necessary, but they’ll surely learn that editing can benefit the outcome.
Launch Gallery: Vitelli RTW Spring 2022