VOYAGE TO THE FAR EAST
From Mantua to Shanghai via Sumatra. For Spring/Summer 2014, the Corneliani man stretches his horizons to the edges of the Far East, the fashion system’s new centre of gravity, an increasingly cosmopolitan destination influenced by a blend of customs and new cultures.
Sergio Corneliani, the Mantua-based company’s Creative Director, has traced the legendary routes of Marco Polo to explore a sophisticated concept of contemporary elegance. “It’s impossible to think about fashion without pushing our boundaries. We must consider the needs of the global market, which is characterised by the existence of different styles and cultures and constantly evolving taste. Today’s man is a ‘travelling man’ who wants an invaluable, high quality wardrobe on his travels that reflects traditional tailoring but also with special, personalised details. Taking these cornerstones as my starting point, I designed a collection steeped in cultural meanings, memories and influences, attempting to mix the sobriety that is typical of our company with more exotic touches.
“I took my inspiration from Mantua, my home town and a centre for Renaissance art, to reinterpret Andrea Mantegna’s work for the Bridal Chamber in the Castle of St. George, borrowing his decorative theme of interlinked circles as the leitmotiv for the wardrobe and sometimes laser-printing them onto leather. The distinguishing detail is the Nehru collar with visible sartorial stitching.”
It is precisely this jacket that reflects the mood of the collection, a melting pot of western aesthetics and oriental style in glossy, brilliant fine pure silk and silk/linen-mix fabrics. The more opaque fabrics too are enlivened by bright colours, such as a touch of aquamarine paired with black and white in the shantung suit, or splashes of faded cherry red on loose-weave cotton knits, as well as timeless blue, in a range of shades up to indigo, found in the suits, trench coats and pea coats.
The brighter shades of yellow, gold and ochre are inspired by China and make the silk jackets sumptuous, while softer, sophisticated colours are used on the strips of knitted leather.
Mantegna’s influence can also be seen in the little circles on the honey-coloured punched leather jackets with Nehru collar and in the zip-up pea jacket in ultra-light nylon.
The lines of the jacket are tapered with small lapels that create a slender, longer silhouette, emphasised by closer-fitting trousers.
A fine touch of subtle intellectual exoticism in the informal brown silk and linen suit with “relaxed jacket” is interwoven with a style whose roots lie in meticulous tailoring traditions and irreplaceable hand-crafted techniques.
Quality, exclusivity and comfort are the distinguishing features of Italian fashion and a tradition for Corneliani, which has been taking its brand of elegance around the world for over 50 years.