Black Girl on the Front Row!


An intimate, stone-clad, uplit, cocoon-like space was the perfect collaborative venue for the eye-catching brilliance of Gabriele Colangelo.

Having started his career at Versace and Cavalli, his pedigree was clear to see. If Scervino offered direction, then Colangelo directed what was a stunning, sculptural collection of living-origami.

A voice-over of French prose calmly set the rhythm to which models, clad in kimono-inspired creations, paced their runway walks. White served a new purpose, namely, a blank canvas upon which to express form and line. From the rounded shoulders, which seemed to be carved out of silk, to shift dresses, with cape-top bodices, the fabric willingly obliged to the demand of high-level cutting-craft.

The kimono silhouette took precedence in coat-collars and tunic-tops, evolving into chrysalis-shaped separates, the simplicity of which, belied the complexity of construction. However, no sooner had we been lulled into the security of curvature, than an assortment of angular items arrived, particularly, a pure-white gown, with opaque, tabard-bib and a sheer asymetric, split-front skirt.

Tonal variations were present-and-correctly balanced, ranging from see-through bodices in buttermilk, trouser-suits in steel-grey, jackets in midnight-blue and floor-length skirts in cocoa. A peephole, cut-away midi with an ‘exploding-raindrop’ motif and an ‘acid-etch’ print in contrasting grey/gold hues, developed the flow of colour, whilst also introducing more fluid pieces, such as a backless, full-length, oatmeal dress. Show-stoppers of choice were the finale looks of two more maxi-dresses, the first, silver-grey and kabuki-waisted, and the last ice-white, and masterfully-pleated.

As the line-up of luxury floated past, one-by-one, it was as if a row of modern-day Madame Butterflies had been born…what is certain, is that, thanks to Gabriele Colangelo, a new, star-collection in the sartorial-sky has also been birthed!



Picture it…

…Backstage, models sit calmly, hair being tailcomb-teased, face being made exquisitely, Terry Barber-ready, whilst front-of-house, conversations clatter like talking-typewriters! Suddenly, a cry of ‘EHH-OHH!‘, loosely-translated as ‘SILENCE!‘, splits the air into pin-drop reverence…

 Now, imagine a host of supermodels, amongst them Alek Wek and Karolina Kurkova, leading a runway of risng-stars, with the aplomb of their 90’s predecessors and you’ll understand the significance of the Scervino brand. If you even dared to blink, you would have missed an almost endless-string of timeless looks, worthy of their own reference encyclopaedia! Whilst we had seen the ‘Pastel/ Metallic/ Midi-Maxi Length/ Column-Hourglass/ Embellishment’ stories, favoured in the vestments of fellow MFW designers, Scervino interpretations seemed to renew them.

For example, skirts took on ice-skater-like proportions, pleats were more than couture-concertinas, reframed as flitting-gaudets… and embellishments, whilst beaded and embroidered, were off-set in position and oriental in theme. Metallics were not simply silver, but gunmetal and gave a more experimental edge when used in conjunction with the traditional silhouettes. Yes, lemon, taupe, mint, black and white all featured, however, peacock added strength to blues and something in the way that peach was colour-blocked, gave it the power of a full-on-primary. Fabrics perused PVC, took a departure into denim, suede injected a new joie-de-vivre to the vestments and silk-taffetta was accompanied by satin-trim, which was a signpost, not only  to the superb eye-for-detail on display, but also an attention-to-distinctive-detail.

It is with this in mind, that I take you on a whistle-stop tour of the most unique moments.

PVC won my ‘Return-of-the-mac’ prize for being a funky piece of outerwear, printed in lemon-hued houndstooth! The award for ‘Best Use of Embellishment’ was a split decision between a taupe, tailored-jacket with cluster-beading, set on the inner-edge of the tuxedo-collar (which, incidentally, did win ‘Best Placement of Embellishment’), and a stunning gun-metal-coloured sweater, with a silver-bead-encrusted accent around the crew-neck.

The ‘Prize-for-Prettiest-Pleating’ had to go to an amazing, chalk-white, column-dress, gathered from shoulder-to-waistline, with its pleating gathering pace to the hem…all cunningly-accompanied by a thigh-high split, for epic Grecian glamour! Coming in a close second, was a black, hour-glass gown with crystal-embellished gaudets at the tail.

‘Best Floral Motif’ was shared (I know, I know, there should only be one winner..but, my made-up competition, my rules!)…. The two stand-out creations were an oriental spray-of-orchids, perfectly-placed upon a strapless peach dress, in a diagonal formation, from empire-to-hemline and a peacock-blue, fitted, scoop-necked, mini-dress, with florals, off-set, on either side of the bodice, spilling into the skirt. ‘Best New Silhouette’ was a shoe-in, for a black, lace, nehru-collared cape with asymetric-opening and credit for ‘Best New Fabric’ could only go to……DENIM!!! The ink-blue offerings of v-necked crop-top, short-pant and denim-lined, white jacket were utterly irresistible!

We’re nearly there now, so, drum-roll please… because it’s time for ‘Best-In-Fashion-Show’…….which was…wait for it……the glorious  Jackie-O-inspired, midi-length, silk dress and collarless-overcoat ensemble, both in that lightning white, effortlessly worn by the magnificent Alek Wek!!!! Congratulations!!!

So, there you have it, fashion-friends….A  whirlwind tour of a tour-de-force collection, which gave us a collation of attire, reprising the traditional with a directional twist.

It’s safe to say that I absolutely adored what I saw…and if you want to reconnect with looks of vintage-modernity, then the designs of Ermanno Scervino are a great place to start!