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Barbara Casasola Pre — AW14

Elegant modernity from the guest star of Pitti Uomo, featuring a film with Jamie Bochert

Initial reaction:

New order: minimalist glamour in svelte, controlled lines that still held a certain softness.


Brazilian modernism remains a source of inspiration for Brazilian-born Barbara Casasola, who made her runway debut at London Fashion Week in September 2013. With a point of departure in colour, the designer works in a precise and purist realm, producing everything in Florence. “I’ve always made everything here in Florence and that’s why I was so honoured to be invited by Pitti because it was a way to celebrate that. I work with incredible craftsmen, seamstresses and factories here. Sometimes I can spend maybe five hours with them in the factory, deciding on the inside of a coat.” – Barbara Casasola  

Gender games:

Titled ‘Menswear for women’, the elegant collection riffed on restrained, sober silhouettes and traditional menswear suiting fabrics. Several looks were twinned to underscore the concept: one in tweed and the other in vividly coloured silk. The pieces brought to mind Colin McDowell’s point from his book Fashion Today that elegance is a concept closely linked to menswear: when you talk about elegance in womenswear, the look in question is guaranteed to borrow from the menswear vocabulary in one way or another. “For me, it’s more about an attitude than about gender,” Casasola said of her menswear-womenswear crossover.

Viral moment:

Twelve film clips by Marie Schuller for SHOWstudio, projected onto the walls of the derelict Palazzo Portinari-Salviati venue, showing Jamie Bochert in intimate situations – dancing topless behind blinds, caught in an extreme close-up or lying on a sofa – in a format suggesting fragmented screen tests and confident womanhood. Watch a clip from the collaboration below.


Pointy suede slippers by Manolo Blahnik for Barbara Casasola, and Casasola’s debut bag: a block-coloured folding clutch – inspired by traditional Florentine coin purses and the work of Brazilian artist Lygia Clark – which transforms into several modernist shapes.