Brutalism is often said to be a reaction against the nostalgic architecture of the 1940s, prioritising functionality over frills, and glorifying basic materials – exposed brick or concrete, timber, and glass – that form the basis of modern design. In Fabiana Filipi’s latest campaign, this future-facing architecture provides an appropriate backdrop for the Italian label’s AW22 collection.
Founded in Italy in 1985, Fabiana Filippi similarly embodies principles of purity and practicality. Emphasis is placed on raw materials, echoing the ethics of pioneering British architects the Smithsons, who famously stated they were “concerned with the seeing of materials for what they were: the woodness of wood, the sandiness of sand”. Cosy, minimalist essentials, meanwhile, are produced with an eye on sustainability, inspired by the abundant nature and people of Umbria (because chicness shouldn’t come at the expense of our local communities and the landscapes we live in).
Now, though, as the first chilly days of autumn roll in and the fruit begins to ripen on the olive trees in the green heart of Italy, Fabiana Filippi has taken shelter inside the walls of a building designed by Oscar Niemeyer in 1981 – the backdrop of its dusky, cinematic AW22 campaign video. Here, the label’s ties to the philosophical approach of Brutalism are drawn out in a series of stark contrasts: the soft silhouette of a finely-woven white coat is set against the bold lines of the architect’s alien structure; a luxurious cape embellished with (recycled) feathers is mirrored in the cool surfaces of glass and brushed steel.
Shot by the British photographer Josh Olins, and featuring model Grace Clover, the campaign also showcases sleek black staples from the brand’s latest collection, from oversized woollen overcoats to chunky leather boots. Bright silks, on the other hand, bring a pop of colour into the understated interiors, paired with cube-shaped leather handbags – a rare right-angle in Niemeyer’s concrete UFO – and turmeric-tinged heels.
First unveiled in Milan earlier this year, the AW22 collection is finished off with more contemporary looks that don’t lose sight of the brand’s commitment to pure (and wearable) fabrics. Quilted outerwear sits alongside angular suiting and dressed-down denim. In a fashion industry that’s slowly coming to terms with its harmful effect on the planet, “eco-couture” pieces from the Terra capsule collection also offer a positive vision for the future, using all-natural materials and dyes. Just as mid-century architecture proposed that function can go hand-in-hand with form, Fabiana Filippi’s blend of classic beauty and considered design proves that you don’t have to sacrifice style to chase a brighter future.
Take a closer look at Fabiana Filippi’s AW22 collection in the gallery above (and shop here). Watch the AW22 campaign film below.