Nigredo originates from the mind of young Italian designer Donato David D’Alessio, who created the collection as his final major project for his degree in Fashion Design at Instituto Marangoni. Donato’s keen interest in esoteric subjects, such as spiritualism, symbolism, and mysticism, is always reflected in his fashion projects. Nonetheless, comfort, saleability, and attention to detail are also prominent characteristics to his collections. Combined with strong influences from classic fashion trends, yet approached with a contemporary mindset, these make up D’Alessio’s individual and unique style.
The Nigredo collection is meant to represent material decadence and ruin, topics which Donato has researched intensely particularly in the fields of alchemy, chemistry, and biology; all connected by the concept of putrefaction. The shapes and colours of the pieces are also strongly influenced by Military uniforms and men’s fashion trends from the 80’s, coming together in a thought out and compelling mix.
Donato’s main inspiration for the project comes from his family’s tannery, particularly from his father activity as a leather worker. Craftsmanship and traditional values are the pillars behind the Nigredo collection, which came to life also thanks to the support of the D’Alessio family and their decades of expertise in working leather to perfection. In fact, rotten leather is the main medium used for the clothes, then renewed and manipulated by Donato to create the pieces, many of which are made entirely in such material. It is noticeable how the earthy colour palette matches the concept, whilst the silver accents within it help bring the whole collection together. What was once old and ruined leather has been transformed and moulded into something new: coming back to life again to serve a new purpose, underlining the concept of rebirth.
Anyone who is able to understand the meaning behind the collection can choose to wear it to deliver the message behind the clothes. The “dark” side of the collection is met with the wearability and lightness of the pieces, which are elegant and fashion-forward.
Once the collection was born, it was time for Donato to create a team to market and showcase the creation. A connection sprouted with professional photographer Giuseppe Morello, found by the designer through Instagram. Milan-based Giuseppe, 23, is able to capture through his analogue photographs unique images with particular techniques and a vast range of subjects. It wasn’t hard for Donato to fall in love with Giuseppe’s works and immediately contact the photographer to propose a collaboration.
A stylist was also needed for the shoot, and thanks to the expert eye of Carola Cassi, the collection was put together on the models. Carola, the third member of Nigredo’s brilliant team, is a skilled Italian stylist that Donato met in the crowded corridors of the Istituto Marangoni in Milan. Cassi gave the outfits the perfect touches required to resemble military troopers, combined with street fashion details that add another modern layer to the collection, such as sneakers shoes.
The pictures taken by Morello, both analogue and digital, and Cassi’s experienced hand, came together to create a photoshoot that perfectly showcases D’Alessio’s collection. Playing with the contrast between the analogue photos, which bring an old-timey and dreamy vibe, and the digital ones, which create classic e-commerce portraits, the pieces are ready to be admired in their perfect mix of old and new, classic and modern; merging in what is the stunning and original Nigredo collection.
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