Lavinia Biagiotti decided to hold her fall show at Rome’s Centrale Montemartini, the city’s first power plant dating back to 1912, which was converted into a museum in 1997. The location is impressive, as industrial and classic archeology meet in a contrast of beautiful marble statues, precious mosaics and the original diesel motors or the huge steam boiler.
The designer, whose company is based in Guidonia, outside Rome, has been highlighting several landmark locations in the Italian capital, such as the museum of the Ara Pacis or the Piazza del Campidoglio on the Capitoline Hill, and after her spring show at the Maxxi museum, she was fascinated by the Centrale Montemartini because she felt it could represent “the energy of beauty.”
“Too often, the beauty of a statue, of a dress, of a painting or of nature are imagined as static, as something to admire — the dress in a window, the statue in a museum — but I like the idea of bringing beauty in our daily life, in movement. Maybe because our clothes were hanging in our wardrobes for two years,” she explained. “Statues of the muses stand in this museum and fashion is a modern muse that renders woman and beauty central.”
Biagiotti filmed the runway show, which was unveiled digitally on Sunday during Milan Fashion Week, as she emphasized the connection with the city. Her friend Anna Cleveland opened the show wearing a flared and belted dress under a furry cashmere coat in an all-white — a signature color for the house, and here in sync with the hue of the statues. The mosaics of the venue inspired the pattern of another satin dress or a miniskirt. Gold was also a strong color for Biagiotti, seen in a braided cashmere top and ankle-length skirt.
Responding to the daily needs, there were also a number of tailored pinstriped suits and houndstooth dust coats, but Biagiotti knows it can’t be all work and no play and offered doll-like flounced and ruched evening dresses in taffeta juxtaposed with body-hugging goddess dresses. The collection reflected the designer’s evolution as she further extended her reach.