>> There was a lot of well-publicised and concerned effort this past Milan Fashion Week in September to ensure that the "young guns" of fashion in Milan were being heard. Look, Georgio Armani has lent his venue out to Stella Jean for her show to support her work! Look, Marco de Vincenzo is probably, possibly, maybe getting investment from LVMH. Look, Fausto Puglisi is the new natural heir to Donatella Versace! That's a lot of shouting and exclamation marks but there's definitely still a long way to go before Milan Fashion Week can be called a veritable breeding ground for young fashion talent.
That is why I was intrigued by Peroni's latest project, to showcase what in their eyes is the new wave in fashion, art and film in their newly-opened House of Peroni on 41 Portland Place in London. Subject to registration and meeting the age requirement, the public are invited to go and enjoy a specially curated mix of film screenings, restaurant tastings and masterclasses in the cavernous townhouse space, designed by architect Andrea Morgante. I will be delving deeper into what is an evolving dilemma for Italian grassroots fashion on the 21st November in a talk with two of House of Peroni's selected young designers, who are demonstrating a very different side to Italian fashion, far and away from any aesthetic cliches. Why is it that Milan Fashion Week is such a hard nut to crack, to even get on to the schedule and catch the eye of international press and buyers? Could there be a possibility for a New Gen-esque scheme to blossom in Milan? Is there a way of better highlighting the young talent that is coming out of Italy? Is the strong regional North-South divide that still exists in Italy a barrier to encouraging growth in Italy's new generation of designers?
I'll be discussing all of this and more with accessories designer Simone Rainer and fashion designer Arthur Arbesser, who have both created installations for the House of Peroni on the night of the 21st November. Tickets for the first 6.30pm session have sold out but there are tickets available for 8.30pm. Oh, and the tickets to attend the talk are free! In the meantime, here's a little intro to both Rainer and Arbesser's work…
Arthur Arbesser in fact hails from Vienna, Austria and studied fashion BA at Central Saint Martins, so it's clear to see why his work marks him out from his Italian peers. He has set up his label in Milan after working for Giorgio Armani and debuted his first collection in February this year and has since won the prestigious Vogue Italia/Altaroma competition "Who is On Next". Arbesser's work immediately has a stark and geometric slant to it, whilst utilising what Italy is known for – high quality fabrics. The clean lines and symmetry is inspired by Arbesser's Milanese surroundings – buildings like the Triennale, Villa Necchi and Palazzo Arengario. The imposing archways on the Palazzo building becomes the central motif of his S/S 14 collection. The graphic oddness of the Milanese' Memphis Design movement in the 1980s is also a background note to this intriguing collection.
Simone Rainer did a U-turn when he switched from mathematics to fashion, where he started off in tailoring. The connection between the two is made apparent in Rainer's accessory line, which he started in 2011 as geometry and Italian's reputation for superb leather goods craftsmanship collide. The square clutch folded into a triangle is his signature bag shape that undergoes a desert sandstorm for S/S 14 as hues of orange, gold and yellow sandblast his collection. Rainer's installation for the House of Peroni reflects his preoccupation with the logic of mathematicians like Fibonacci and Luca Pacioli.