You mention Blumarine, and flowers immediately come to mind. And with flowers, a certain romanticism, which in the past has been flung in every direction, from the overtly emotional to the carnally sensual. This season, Anna Molinari, the force of nature behind the label, decided to convey pictorial atmospheres, opting, surprisingly, for a restrained tone. Restraint à la Molinari, that is. She titled the collection In Bloom, and there were flowers aplenty in the form of embellishment, appliqué, and thread embroidery. They were all colorful and tactile, but they didn’t come with a sense of déjà vu. Molinari got rid of the flaps, the frills, and vintage-y feel of the past to concentrate on neat, fast shapes, and a pervasive weightlessness. You could almost detect a sporty inspiration in the T-shirt dresses and tank tops, or the pleated miniskirts that hung on the hips; legs were prominently on display.
Backstage, Molinari—wearing her iconic mink-trimmed cardigan, covered in printed roses—said she wanted to create a “sense of magic realism.” She also claimed inspiration from artist Martial Raysse, but it was more a matter of method—looking at reality from a different angle—than a pillaging of iconography. The show involved a somewhat homogeneous series of variations on a theme: a play of polychrome embroideries and sequin applications, as well as intarsia and jacquards that almost seemed to bloom from the fabric, highlighted by the pale and delicate colors of the bases. As usual with Blumarine, there were some odd detours—the graphic black and white bourgeois pieces looked a bit out of place—but overall the collection looked consistent.