Blumarine is hot! While nobody really paid attention to Nicola Brognano‘s debut last season, it was clear that he (with Lotta Volkova’s styling help) has a plan for this Italian brand that once was the synonym of sexy glamour. “I’ve always been fond of Blumarine since I was a kid, Vogue Italia issues were treasured in my mother’s bridal atelier,” Brognano said during a visit to the set where the fall video was being filmed. “I still remember vividly the Blumarine advertising campaigns shot by Helmut Newton in the ’90s, they were fabulous!” That was the label’s heyday. Making it pertinent for today’s sought-after young audience, winning not only their social media attention but also their spending power is the challenge the designer has to face. He might succeed – he ticks all the boxes. For autumn-winter 2021, Brognano looked at his teenage heroines, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton and their early aughts excesses. He was a huge fan. The collection screamed Madonna-meets-Steven-Meisel-‘Sex’-Book as well. “My Blumarine is more dirty, bitchy, sexier,” he said. It definitely seems to have the punch celebrities respond to. Ariana Grande, Rihanna, and Dua Lipa have all asked for clothes, or for the impossibly high stilettos with crisscrossing full-leg straps that are becoming a hit. If Brognano knows how to put the power of stardom to good use, but he’s also business savvy. The ultra-short draped minidresses in candy colors can be covered up by cozy oversized cable-knitted cardis with fake-fur collars. Elongated crocheted-wool vests had a thrifty feel; they were see-through enough to look sexy without being too revealing. Nostalgic Blumarine fans weren’t neglected either; the everlasting roses motif was abundantly represented, digitally abstracted in liquid watercolor prints or knitted in sprouting 3D rosettes on cropped wool sweaters paired with matching briefs. Denims were totally Britney – low-slung, extra tight, bell-bottomed, and studded with crystals (properly kitschy!). Brognano’s Blumarine is firing up.
“Live” collage by Edward Kanarecki.