The Romans. Gucci Resort 2020

Another day, another resort show taking place somewhere in the world. Gucci‘s resort 2020 unfolded in the shadowy halls of the Musei Capitolini in Rome, where the legendary Capitoline wold statue stands guard telling the story of Romulus and Remus and the mythic tale of the Founding of Rome in the 8th century B.C. Where busts of Hadrian, whose love affair with Antinous peaks fantasies up to now, and Neron, who was one of the first dictators and mysogynists in the world, might look at each other in the corridor. Alessandro Michele‘s new collection was lots, lots of history, heavily inspired with loose sheats and tunics of Romans. And there was this notion of theatrical dressing up, something Romans loved a lot. Michele revisited this idea (as if he didn’t every season…) with more modern, pop references: Elton John (who sat front row), Bob Mackie’s iconic black peacock Cher look, 70s Gucci jet-set style, Mickey Mouse prints… well, lots of content. So much that you barely see the clothes, which is something we already got used to with Gucci shows. Alessandro also attempted to grasp something from the contemporary world – which is highly recommeded for brands with such huge platform of viewers. A uterus was embroidered on a pleated gown, sparking very mixed feelings on social media, and as the brand explained, “the piece reflects the creative director’s continuing vision of freedom, equality and self-expression. Since founding Chime for Change in 2013 – the global campaign that represents and advocates for gender equality – Gucci has a longstanding commitment to women and girls by funding projects around the world to support sexual and reproductive rights, maternal health and the freedom of individual choice.” Which is, shortly speaking, a comment on current abortion issues going on in USA (and not only). A blue jacket with “MY BODY MY CHOICE” slogan on the back was even more straight-forward. Still, I’m not a fan of this collection. There’s just too much going on. And with every ‘fantasy’ of Alessandro, it gets blurrier and blurrier…

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Rome Addresses

Planning a trip to Rome? You might want to take a look at the addresses I’ve discovered in this truly magical city.

Trattoria Al Moro is a proper, Roman trattoria with wood panels from the 1920’s, a very Italian, beautifully overcharged interior, and a chic ambience. Their daily specials are always a must, just like the signature Al Moro pasta. For the dessert take the profiteroles. You will ask for more, I tell you.

Vicolo delle Bollette 13

Origami is the best kept secret of the most stylish, Roman women. This unfussy boutique sells clothes of own production – think turtleneck dresses in geometric prints, gorgeous basket totes, loosely fitted cardigans, everything kept shades of ochre, rust and lilac – in very reasonable, affordable prices. The historic, wooden ceiling is an impressive addition to this spot.

Via dei Banchi Vecchi 144

Dana is a store located in a former church. Even the confessional stayed, and now it’s used as a dressing room. We’re in Rome! Independent, small brands from Rome are sold here.

Via del Pellegrino 167

I bet you won’t eat a better pizza in Rome. Pizzeria Da Baffetto is a simple, compact white-tiled restaurant specializing in Roman-style, thin and crispy pizzas. They are so, so good in here. If you don’t want to wait in a line (and they get really big) better come for (early) lunch at around noon.

Via del Governo Vecchio 114

Laity Mbaye’s Metissage atelier. While this man will surely hypnotize you with his look that is a beautiful balance between Italian tailoring and Senegalese origins, please do check out the garments he designs himself and the hand-picked artisanal accessories he sells at his store.

Largo del Pallaro 18

Lou Lou sells curated, very refined brands that all share a poetic, dark aesthetic. Uma Wang, Reinhard Park, Guidi, Sara Lanzi are just some of the labels you will find on the racks of this eclectically furnished store. If you’re looking for a gift, check out their fragrance display filled with niche, Italian names that specialise in true, olfactory experiences.

Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 113

Oh, and Prada‘s huge store that’s just across the Spanish Steps. I mean, how can you not go inside? Some of the leather goods and perfumes are exclusives available only here in Rome.

Via dei Condotti 89

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Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Luna & L’Altra in Rome

Why did I love my last trip to Rome so much? I accidentally, but very luckily, discovered Luna & L’Altra boutique, that was about to close in the couple of days – after 30 years of existence. The amazingly charismatic and inspiring owner, Biba Libera (photographed above), first introduced Japanese designers to Italy – think Yohji Yamamoto, Comme Des Garçons, Issey Miyake – and throughout the years gathered a brilliant collection of Maison Martin Margiela (even the super rare, artinasal pieces, like the gloves top or the tape bag). She even borrowed some of the pieces to Musee Galliera in Paris, which did the designer’s retrospective not a long time ago. Some of the items from her archives were available to buy. Meanwhile, she chatted with anyone who was as in awe with her and her store as me. It’s so sad to hear that places like this close due to the fashion industry’s pace… but as she said, she was ready for this step. And she’s here for a new adventure! Really hope to meet her soon.

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Rome!

Rome! I utterly fell in love with this city. It’s just so cinematic, elegant, sunny, magical. The weight of history makes every single street feel so unique, as if those cobblestones and walls told their own story. Here are some of details I captured – my favourite addresses are coming up soon!

Rome’s signature rust red; Karl Lagerfeld’s sketches for Fendi at the brand’s gorgeous Palazzo on Via Condotti; the architectural gem – Pantheon; flower trucks near Campo Di Fiori; Di Trevi fountain, looking fresh after Fendi’s renovation; the opulent Santa Maria’s basilica in Trastevere.

Mum on the streets of Ponte district; Italian lemons…; the gigantic trees in Trastevere; another Roman postcard; those Sicilian pastries near our apartment were heaven.

A coffee situation in Trastevere; near the Spanish Stairs; the ‘can I stay forever at Prada‘s store on Via Condotti?’; there’s nothing more Roman than a Vespa.

Artichokes, minutes before getting fried and served, in the Jewish district; the beauty of bouquet making process at Campo Di Fiori; vintage books near Campo Di Fiori; again, a look at Santa Maria’s basilica in Trastevere – I’m always enchanted by the details here.

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Last of Karl. Fendi AW19

The news of Karl Lagerfeld’s passing away broke more than a week ago, and writing about his very final collection for Fendi seems like a struggle of using the right tense. It’s unbelievable he’s no longer here, with us. I always thought Karl will be present, forever. And just like that, it’s a season without him and his guaranteed, confident presence. Fendi’s autumn-winter 2019 was a tribute that wasn’t entirely a tribute, since Lagerfeld worked on majority of the collection – even though he was aware that his health is dangerously stumbling. After the models walked the runway, Silvia Venturini Fendi took a grieving bow. Karl’s last instruction given to Silvia was: “I want the bow” at the neck of the opening look. That was a nod to his own, unmistakable look. It’s difficult to write about the clothes from this collection as if this was just another Fendi collection. There was lightness in the pleated skirts. There was impressive craftsmanship involved, like the laser-cut “lattice” jackets and dresses. And, of course, there was the FF type face used on pretty much everything. It came from Karl’s calligraphy for the house from 1981. The models – most of them owe the designer their success by being his Fendi or Chanel muses – were visibly very emotional, but they walked their best, for Karl. Since 1965, he’s been at the helm of the brand – it’s probably the longest relationship between a brand and a designer in history – and now he’s gone. Venturini Fendi is taking the lead of the brand’s creative direction, but let’s leave the questions regarding the future of the brand for later. Rome, the city were Fendi was born, is in mourning: the brand’s flagship store on Via Condotti covered all of its window displays with Karl’s sketches of his designs for the house. Chanel faces the painful loss too, so does Paris.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.