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Gabriele Colangelo

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GESTURAL DESIGN
Only in his third season, Gabriele Colangelo has been generating quite a buzz, taking last year’s Alta Roma’s Who Is On Next award. Inspired by the gestural abstractions of German-French painter Hans Hartung, the novice designer seemed to loosen up for spring, cultivating a more freeform style than his previous outings. Starting with a palette of white, silver and blush pink and moving into brooding blues, Colangelo draped supple silks and cottons into organic voluminous forms. A basic shift turned to reveal sexy sinuous detail in the back, whereas cocooning coats that seemed to be cinched in the back were in reality skillfully taken in through the side seams.  Hans Hartung’s scratchy strokes complemented the shapes, cleverly transposed onto a devoré satin that covered just the right places on leggings and dresses. Although operating in different spheres, the prints in this collection resembled Peter Pilotto’s fireworks-inspired watercolors, while the trompe l’oeil liquid coats recalled Mary Katrantzou’s glassblowing concoctions, both seen in London last week. Whatever the inspiration, the commonalities seem to signify that fashion is undergoing its own eco-movement, with designers striving to capture the natural world and its tendencies with surfaces and shapes, in experimental, ultra-modern ways.
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