Oct 05, 2017 | By Carlene Thomas Bailey
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Manuela Arcari’s goal as a designer is to “turn wearability into creativity”, and with a collection that did not compromise accessibility for the sake of modernist ideas, she succeeded in style. The designer applied origami techniques to achieve three-dimensional forms that molded around the body but seemed to stand away from it — even body-conscious styles seemed to leave a bit of ease. Blouses had dropped sleeves with an added cap to gently curve around the shoulders, a little dress used crisscrossed panels for a seamless basket weave detail, and pockets were gusseted to project from the body. Although the mostly grey collection followed a minimalist aesthetic, Arcari evoked an earthy quality through gently rounded shapes, breaking up the shiny satin surfaces with a dull napped silk twill, and punctuating the stark palette with olive, turquoise and cobalt. Cloudy digitally-printed droplets created an aura-like motif that seemed to reflect the bottom of the ocean, used for bra-tops and handkerchief-hemmed shifts. The sculpted ergonomic shapes, clean lines and mini-lengths recalled elements of 90s fashion, but Arcari deftly updated the austerity with a modern sensuality.
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