Massimo Rebecchi: a tale of contrasts

The name of the venue was grand enough, Palazzo Clerici, but on arrival it was a typically Milanese courtyard that greeted me, the sun attempting to beat down on its paving through this near-spring afternoon. Walking inside the Italianess of the venue continued as I stepped up non-descript marble stairs whose only distinguishing feature from any other Italian stair case seemed to be the regal blue carpet lining them. If what was at the top of those stairs impressed me, a long wood panelled room whose decorations had long faded from glory, I remember not. What I do remember is the room in which Massimo Rebecchi’s catwalk was to be held. Everything about that room, save for the stairs approaching it, is sumptuous. Long, perhaps fifty metres or so, no single part of it is untouched by craftsmanship. It’s walls are made up of a mixture of gilt wood carvings, tapestries and mirrors greyed with age. The floor is a parquetry of multi-toned wood swirls sadly hidden by the carpet of the catwalk. The ceiling from which three lead crystal chandeliers hang is a trompe-l’oeil view of heaven that saw everything from archangels to horned beasts paying witness to this Milan fashion week showing.

To say that Massimo Rebecchi would have to offer up a fall / winter 2011 collection of impressive proportions in order to stand out in such a setting is to put it mildly. And that was going to be a tall order no matter how embellished the pieces sent down the catwalk. And so it was that the pops of colour that Massimo Rebecchi sent down his catwalk popped, while the pieces in winter hues simply couldn’t make themselves stand apart in such a room, not matter how well embellished they were with golden mini-sequins or how delicate their lace.

You’ll see from the pictures we captured that it was the collection’s splashes of red silk that worked best, a fact that Rebecchi was well aware of noting that his autumn / winter 2011 collection is one in which “colour steals the scene”. And there in lies two lessons: if you’re a designer ensure that your room doesn’t dominate your collection, whereas if you’re a sartorial connoisseur remember that colour in winter is going to make you stand out.

Elsewhere the collection played to the resurgence of fur for the coming cold season, and did so both with functionality through collars and mere embellishment by working the fur across the surface of different pieces. But as colours contrasted so to did fabrics, with heavy crocheted mohair followed by sheers that were not always so light that they revealed what lay underneath despite the harsh light of the catwalk.

You can see all the pictures from Massimo Rebecchi‘s autumn (fall) / winter 2011 / 2012 offering by clicking on the thumbnails below.