Ermanno Scervino Pre-Fall Collection

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Words Helen Jennings

Last week Ermanno Scervino invited ARISE to Florence to attend his autumn/winter 2013/14 show. As guest designer at Pitti (a major expo for the fashion industry) and as a true Florentine (his HQ is tucked away in the nearby Tuscan hills), the designer chose the occasion to present his A/W13/14 men’s and pre-A/W 13/14 womenswear side by side to a VIP audience.

It was held at the 14th-century Palazzo Vecchio, which with its imposing exterior and sumptuous art-lined interior epitomises all that is visually arresting about the city. A lesser outing would have been swamped by such surroundings; not Scervino’s. “I am extremely happy to hold my show here,” he said. “Palazzo Vecchio, the symbol of the city, is the perfect context in which to host the values of excellence and tradition that represent ‘Made in Italy’.”

The self-trained designer who has a long pedigree built upon his sexy, classic aesthetic and exceptional abilities with lace and ruffles, showed 60 strong yet playful looks. The styles came in waves, first super-sharp suiting, followed by naval, varsity and 60s overtones and in each section the men’s and women’s styles echoed each other to create a his ’n’ hers rhythm. Likewise colours – black, grey marl, navy, burgundy and ivory – melted together into a moreish, wrap-up-warm palette.

The wool suits came either smart (stiff and double breasted) or paired down (slim blazers with chunky knitwear). Felt and python pencil skirts, corseted dresses and tunics with trousers were accentuated with oodles of fur. Outerwear was key – from parkas and bombers to admiral overcoats and floor-sweeping cover-ups. And shiny leather dominated – in trousers and holdall for the boys, or laser-cut and textured simple tops and slip dresses for the girls. Finally Scervino’s signature evening gowns in silks and lace fluttered down the long, black catwalk, accompanied by resounding applause.

Models, among them the bee-stung lipped Lindsey Wixson (who lost her high heels at one point) and ARISE cover girl Liya Kebede, who opened the show, were also welcomed to the after-show dinner where we were treated to three courses surrounded by displays of pink roses. Pure Italian elegance at its finest.

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