A return to beauty, in its eternal form that was born in Plato’s cave and flows into the kalòs kaghatòs, the beauty that takes shape in Raphael’s brushstroke and in Giotto’s perfect circle. The one sculpted in the plasticity of the bodies of Fidia, Canova, Bernini, and which resounds in a cascade of Mozart’s notes.
Neoclassicism, a movement that rose up between the end of the eighteenth century and the early nineteenth century, is characterized by a recovery of the world of Greco-Roman classicism and the idea of beauty that permeated it.
This is the frame that Gianluca Saitto has chosen to design the desire for rebirth, after more than a year of the coronavirus pandemic, in the spring-summer 2021 collection, one of the Milanese couturier’s finest yet.
Neoclassical décor, typically gilded friezes on gold stucco as found in the regal residences of that time such as the Royal Palace of Caserta, is reproduced in white on a sage background to create the collection’s hallmark fabric that brings to life three iconic pieces.
First, a midi-length sheath dress with embroideries that embellish the central faun, and voluminous architectural straps with a pleated effect; second, an off-the-shoulder top and extra-volume sleeves in the style of the divine artist’s “Young Woman with Unicorn”, which are found, among other things, in poplin on the Raphaelite-style shirt; third, a maxi skirt proposed in combination with a white macramé lace top, the same that embellishes the shoulders of one of the cotton shirts, which serves to enhance its brightness.
Jewel embroideries feature on jackets, for example as a clasp that closes the outerwear of the sophisticated cream tuxedo enriched with silver embroidery. Black lace creates a series of transparencies on white silk shirts and bustier-effect tops with off-the-shoulder necklines. Silk and sheer also return for the shirt with golden threads and a cascade of ruffles.
The starry background and a luminescent version of Antonio Canova’s The Three Graces, on the other hand, are the print for another iconic fabric in the collection, used for the blouse that closes with a maxi bow knotted like a shawl on the décolleté, as well as for the balloon skirt and the elegant pyjamas that, at the time of the coronavirus, became the most clicked garment on the website in the last year, together with the jumpsuit. This too makes its début in the universe of Gianluca Saitto, with a radiant Venus de Milo on a black background. Kimono dress-shirts and bon ton tops with open backs and voluminous lapels complete the cotton range.
It would be impossible not to notice the balloon skirt in a geometric pattern made of crisp silk jacquard that enhances its volume, completed by the waistcoat with lapels in the same fabric. The bouclé sheath dress with geometric straps echoes the colour palette of the Neoclassicism collection with shades of pink and gold on a white background, while the leather-effect outerwear printed in metallic anthracite breaks up the neutral-coloured pencil skirt embellished with the construction of crystals arranged like bricks.
The last three garments epitomize pure class with a touch of the eccentric. Neoclassicism or not, beautiful things all come from the same era. Oscar Wilde docet.
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Article edit by Claudia Chiari