Leave it to art students to splash around in color and fabric. And this band of fashion designers did some cannon balls in a pool of blues and oranges at acclaimed fashion at acclaimed fashion warehouse, Superstudio Piu, for the Marangoni 2011 Runway Show. Istituto Marangoni Milano, showcased over 30 student designers and nearly 200 materials in the annual fashion show commencement. Noted as some of the top designers for this study year Elia Quadri, Elisabetta Oberto, Wang Han, Wang Li Xuan, Yu Kyeong Kim, Christina Economou, Angela Strabone, Le Yen Mai, Nicolette Trembley, Carolina Condes, Chen Xiao (Zoe) Chen all presented their final pieces. Full of personality and No-Doz these fresh talents flaunted collections ranging from eveningwear to partywear, casual and formal wear, ready-to-wear and haute couture (sleepwear even animal wear, and a few collections borderline factory-worker-wear). The general mood was evocative of a Greenwich Village after party. Though Animal Collective would have been a nice touch for bg tune, the faux Bob Sinclair did the job. The overall sense of styles proved a keen awareness for high-end protocol while still pushing the boundaries far beyond practical. Influences of Prada and Versace 2011 spring collection were apparent as well as variations on Marc Jacobs and flavors of last season’s Anna Sui, Karl Lagerfeld and a hints of Rick Owens.
Colors were rich and experimental as palettes were loud from shades of oranges and blues to browns and mint greens. Orange was a top selection for most of the fall and spring collections. Burnt oranges, pansy yellows with splats of ruby red and lipstick pink. Indian browns and rustic greens over subtle patterns and deep cuts. High waistlines were a must-have. Wide belts and cropped coats paired with platforms and stilettos were all interchanged. Rubber duck yellow and gummy blues were coupled with sassy pinks and snobbish grays.
Everything from nylon and polyester, felt to rubber – even some styrofoam were presented. Lots of plastics and suede and every kind of leather color and quality. Each piece harmonized against the backdrop of student portraits on cue for the different collections. Accessories were elaborate: sunglasses and goggles, fedoras and sinamay headpieces, variations on the bellboy hat. Not a single accessory went unnoticed.
For being a student production, the teams pulled off their presentations nothing short of professional. Though a sharp eye could pick out the faint b-class hemlines and a few uneven stitchings, the models covered well. The garments were hung to fit and clean to pose. Though spacing between collections was rapid, each collection ranged from 3-8 pieces, allowing barely enough time for concepts to be digested before the change up. Models, though lacking a little summer glow – not to mention their bargain wax jobs and the occasional unconcealed mosquito bite – were sharp, thin enough, and well groomed. The hair pieces were a consistent asymmetrical bang and ratted high ponytail.
The music was in sync with the playful wear and relevant for the generation of young designers. The songs were aligned with Easter and birthday parties but rebellious with arrogant and stampeding mixes. Though a mix with slightly more provocative tunes may have added to the value of the collections, nothing really goes wrong with 80s and funk for a catwalk. The lighting was moody and polished the floor. Intervals between each 10 designers lent a 3-5 minute screen projection of the students at work and the production crew behind scenes.