“Lockdown was hard but it definitely helped boost my creativity,” said Gabriele Colangelo. “I had more time to sharpen the focus on my vision.” His first resort collection was designed during the time he spent in confinement; its production was made possible by the recent restructuring of his independent company, which received investment two years ago from the Chinese Redstone Group, owner of the brand Giada, of which Colangelo is creative director. Having more resources at his disposal is critical for expanding the international development of his namesake company; a step in this direction was the opening in August of its first two stores, located in Shanghai and Beijing. Lockdown has definitely been good to Colangelo.
Speaking from his pristine headquarters in Milan, the designer acknowledged that working on a resort collection for the first time was “a learning process,” in that it required him to consider a different set of issues to those he considers in his catwalk presentations, where he’s free to indulge the artsy-crafty approach he favors. Being more realistic and pragmatic about his clients’ preferences in these particular and challenging times has smoothed the edges of some stylistic hyperboles, while retaining their aesthetic flavor. Colangelo’s signature minimalist construction is still there, built around a verticality of lines to achieve a lean, pure silhouette for city coats, blazers and day dresses. Yet he introduced an element of fluidity, “a soft structure” as he called it, through the use of lighter fabrics and less overworked textures. A play on cut added a skillful yet discreet decorative quality, as did high-end handmade finishes like elasticated smock stitching; slits at the back of tops and along the sleeves of pristine shirts suggested a hint of sensuality. Color was used sparingly, with just a few accents of pistachio, lavender and cerulean breaking a mostly neutral palette; a watercolored tie dye effect looked charming.