Collini Milano returns to Schön! for its new SS21 collection. This series, entitled “No One Is Innocent”, is designed for the “new urban animal” — a figure that makes a statement while still being able to unite with those around it. As Collini describes in a press statement, the new collection seeks to “add beauty and gratification to everyday life.” To hear more about this mission, Schön! had another conversation with Carmine Rotondaro, CEO and creative director of Collini, to learn more about the collection.
The collection is called “No One Is Innocent.” Why did you select this title, and what does it say about the pieces in the collection?
“No One Is Innocent” comes from the idea that our collective experience has revealed a common destiny, a shared responsibility, a connected humanity. With the awareness that the simple pleasures of life are the most precious, we have developed a new priority: to add beauty and gratification to everyday life. With this collection, I want to contribute to this new mindset by providing the simple pleasure that derives from dressing in superb materials and fabrics, allowing the creation of a distinctive and personal identity to be savoured in solitude or in intimate company, as well as on the public stage.
You’ve mentioned that this collection is inspired by an imagined travelling circus. Why did you focus on animals as the inspiration for this collection?
My idea was to dress the reborn human after this pandemic period — a new urban animal, a glamorous creature, an eccentric survivor and an everyday rockstar. A new creature for this new reality. Therefore stylised animal prints and textures become new classics, from the logo subtly integrated between black zebra stripes on gutsy green and leopard spots on bold turquoise to luxurious golden crocodile jacquard. A perfect synthesis of high and low, Couture and Street.
Introduce us to the accompanying pictures and video. What were you looking to capture with these pieces?
A village of dreamers, of visionaries, of inspired ambitious role players, of chameleonic professionals. In a twist of words and vibes, it takes passion, love for beauty, and passion for love, to see an incredible team of talented and diverse professionals at ease while filming a narrative that links classic surroundings with contemporary scenes. Like in the old circus days, we built an outdoor arena for our players, magicians, acrobats, and artists. Their “costumes” were made of the most luxurious fabrics, striped in colourful zebra patterns, in soft and unique textures, embellished with the finest accessories, and made brilliant by the glam of our vibrant colours. In place of a dusty suburban square, though, we chose the soft and vibrant green of Lake Como’s spectacular hills surrounding the Collini Villa with its magnificent view.
The last time we talked, you said that fashion is a way for people to represent themselves and communicate while socially distanced. As social distancing restrictions are relaxed, what is the place of fashion — and Collini specifically — in this COVID-filled world?
The COVID-induced crisis is far from over. Many borders are still closed. Luxury shoppers do not travel. People are very careful in gathering and partying. The occasions to dress up and go out are less frequent. We need to brace ourselves and get through this moment. However, while we wait to get back to our social lives, we still believe in a very personal glamour; even at home, among intimates, our customer wants to look and feel fabulous. We continue to believe in dreams and glamour, and our communication continues along these lines. Beauty, luxury, optimism will continue to be portrayed and promoted. And when we finally get to the post-COVID era, people will want to regain what the pandemic emergency has taken away from them. More specifically, they will want to enjoy, celebrate, and communicate (all of which has been in the same way inhibited during COVID). And they will want to do so appropriately and responsibly. Collini will again be there to cater to these wishes and aspirations of our customers.
What do you envision for the future of Collini?
As I’ve said, I believe that fashion is a means of communication and, most importantly, it is communication from a distance. By wearing a special and unique garment, footwear or accessory, we all send a message about our mood, our taste, our state of mind. And we can do so from a distance and without breaking the new social distancing rules. These rules have redefined some aspects of socialising and of physical contact with other people. I think that a bold and unique look and appearance will be more and more a way of communicating and socialising. With its array of glamorous looks, Collini can certainly help with that. But also a special and unique look is a way of celebrating ourselves and the beauty of many aspects of the daily life that we used to take for granted and that the current pandemic has suddenly interrupted and turned off. I think that Collini style is particularly suitable for this need of celebration, and we will always be up to it.
Another important step for Collini is the move away from a season-based reality. The short life span of a beautiful handcrafted garment or accessory currently imposed by the classic fashion system feels antiquated to us and even disrespectful to the time and energy dedicated towards the creation of these items. We want to exalt these masterpieces and offer them in a kind of living archive, making them available for purchase even seasons after their initial debut.
all looks. Collini Milano