Collini Milano 1937


equal-means-equal

Carmine Rotondaro

“Contamination For Glamour “ COLLINI’s Brand Legacy Of Heritage Couture & Resilience In The Age Of Covid-19

RESERVED MAGAZINE has a version sit-down with Carmine Rotondaro, COLLINI’s dynamic Creative director and CEO to discuss his vision behind their provocative new campaign. The juxtaposition of the model  engaged in a daily routine outfitted in the ultra glam collection styled with a gas mask creates a powerful narrative behind the concept of “contamination for glamour”.

The outcome that I was striving for with this campaign was not at all to provoke or protest but to create strong and meaningful images that symbolize the resilience of the human spirit even in the most grotesque and unimaginable circumstances. My message is that we can pull it off, we can get over this dark, horrific experience that has compressed and confused all aspects of our lives within the four walls of our home. COOLER THAN LOCKDOWN. – Carmine Rotondaro, Creative Director & CEO, of COLLINI

Q.1.How did you come up with concept of “contamination for glamour” and can you elaborate on what this means? 

Fashion has always been about contamination: contamination of styles, genders functionalities and suggestions. Some of the most revolutionary junctures in the history of fashion happened when fashion authorities or emerging trendsetters dared to dress women as men, men as women, civilians as soldiers, jet-setters with a sweatshirt. It is a creation process that blurs and combines different aesthetic codes and functionalities into the single presentation of a new garment or accessory. This is something that we do a lot at Collini and which took us to create glitter biker trousers, shiny golden and silver jackets with fringes, a golden printed-crocodile coat, cashmere pulls printed with pure 24K gold, shiny and glitter Cuban heel boots, fluoro combat boots, jersey sweaters with shiny fringes on the sleeves, etc. Also the idea of the gas mask photos derives from this process. It is this steady contamination between different suggestions: the danger and angst suggested by the gas mask and the peaceful and quiet home settings in which the pictures were shot. The oppression and containment suggested by the mask and the outspoken glamour and chic of the styles that we chose for the shooting. And again the combination of the duress and harshness of the gas masks and of the sparkling femininity of the models wearing them. This concept of “contamination for glamour” that is the underlying of the campaign is what Collini stands for. And I find interesting that the word “contamination” that we normally use for styles is originally a concept that has to do with viruses.

Q.2 What inspired you to choose this particular location for the shoot? 

The current pandemic has forced us to compress virtually all aspects of our daily life into one single place and into the most ordinary of all: our home. This is the place in which we are normally cosy and comfortable but, during the pandemic, this is also the place in which we have been directed and forced to also be all the rest that we normally are in other places: elegant, sexy, sociable and glamorous. The pandemic confined the glamour of our life into the most “everyday” of our life’s premises. Now, the mantra of Collini has always been “everyday glamour” and, in the post Covid, we will continue to build on this concept and to create a fashion that is, at the same time, easy and chic, functional and feminine, wearable and glamorous. This is for us the big fashion message of the pandemic.  

Q.3 Why did you decide to have the models specifically wear gas masks as opposed to N95 or fabric masks? 

This campaign is about resilience and the gas mask is a symbol of extreme resilience. It is at the same time an evidence of the strongest oppression (the one polluting the air and preventing to breathe) and, at the same time, a tool of survival and mean to oppose the elements and to prevail. At the same time, it transfigures the human face and allows us to breathe and smile again when the danger is gone. It is repression and salvation at the same time. It requires adaptation but it allows to prevail. It really seemed to me the epitome of this campaign’s message.

ADAPT AND PREVAIL

Q.4 During our last interview on Instagram live, you mentioned that you will be showing the collection during Milan Fashion Week. Do you feel that most buying appointments will be done virtually or that buyers will still want to see the collection in person? 

It is correct. We are looking to show at the September Milan Fashion Week but digitally. I personally believe that the COVID emergency and its aftermath will represent a big incentive for the fashion industry to embrace more and more the opportunities offered by the digital and artificial intelligence tools. At Collini we are very excited about these opportunities and we believe that these may be particularly beneficial to us and allow us to multiply the exposure of our creativity. Think about the ability to show our collection in a totally digitalized environment: basically a no place. Also, the ability to be present and meaningful in various fashion weeks around the world.

Q.5 Prior to becoming the CEO and Creative of Collini, you were an advisor global luxury brands. How do you feel this influenced your leadership style? 

In my career as an advisor I learned that success depends to a very large extent on the ability to establish an effective, cohesive and diverse team. There are very few things that one can do on his/her own. And this not only in terms of time and reach but also in terms of background and skills. The diversity of a team is its richness because it brings to it contributions, inputs and points of view from different backgrounds and experiences. Team Spirit and Diversity: these are the two avenues to success on which a winning leadership style absolutely needs to be based.

Q.6 What are you most proud of achieving since your tenure at COLLINI?

Collini was founded in Milan in 1937 by a family of fashion makers. It became very successful and well known serving the upper class of the city, which was also the most prominent of Italy. When I first got in touch with the Collini brand and family I fell in love with the technical skills of their pattern makers and with the discrete fashion wisdom of their seamstresses. Then, I took over the company and I brought my glamorous and rock and roll aesthetics. One day one of our artisans in his sixties told me: “you make me feel young again”. This is the achievement that makes me most proud: having brought new excitement to the experienced teams of this established fashion house.

www.ColliniMilano.com

// Featuring: Carmine Rotondaro // Author: Francesca Vuillemin // Special Thank You: Cristiano Magni Public Relations

Collini Milano 1937
Carmine Rotondaro “Contamination For Glamour “ COLLINI’s Brand Legacy Of Heritage Couture & Resilience In The Age Of Covid-19 RESERVED MAGAZINE has a version sit-down with Carmine Rotondaro, COLLINI’s dynamic Creative director and CEO to discuss his vision behind their provocative new campaign. The juxtaposition of the model  engaged in a daily routine outfitted in the ultra glam collection styled ... Read More
4254
4254 Olympic Gold Medalists-turned-fashion designers, Élodie Ouédraogo and Olivia Borlée, speak to me over Zoom from their respective homes in Belgium. The interview was meant to be in person in Los Angeles, but like everyone, the girls have readjusted their plans for the worldwide COVID-19 lockdown. Among the many other fallouts of the pandemic, the press tour for their fledgling clothing line ... Read More
ALABAMA BLONDE
ALABAMA BLONDE Alabama Blonde sits at her computer with a white background, keeping her surroundings mysterious. She’s relaxed in glasses and a black beret, and we begin by talking about her cactus garden. She’s afraid of heights, and the cactus barrier surrounding the edges of her balcony make her feel better about living 40 stories above the ground. “So I can’t ... Read More
JULIA CLANCEY
Daria wearing Julia Clancey Pink Slinky head wrap, Earrings and Necklace PK Bijoux, Lion cuff Snake cuff Vintage cuff and ring by Hirst Collections, ring by Frangos, Bracelets @thehirstcollection by Kenneth Jay Lane, Satellite, Amishi, Askew London, Kenneth Jay Lane  Madi wearing Dragonfly Tassel Turban by Julia Clancey available at Harrods, Necklace by PK Bijoux, Hedgehog ring  by Kenneth Jay ... Read More
Black Dahlia
BLACK DAHLIA: Candy and the Science of Bliss Arriving fresh out of the candy lab, Taryn Garcia makes the life of a confectioner sound just as surreal as the childhood mind imagines; it’s the life of an artist, chef, and mad scientist, all rolled into one.   Head chef along with Greg Bernhardt for the new CBD company, Black Dahlia, Taryn reveals some ... Read More
ROSE HARTMAN: Studio 54
Known for its lavish celebrity disco parties in the late 1970s, Studio 54 became a symbol of the NYC elite, and many of the images—such as Bianca Jagger on the white horse— were as notorious as the club that inspired them. Behind the camera of many of the famed photographs was the tenacious and legendary photographer Rose Hartman; intrepid partygoer ... Read More
Tender Giant Miljan Suknovic
The moment Miljan walked into the Air France Lounge at New York’s JFK Airport he was immediately inspired by the architectural environment to create an installation/exhibition “Studio Visit”. As the first site-specific art installation of it’s kind the Air France lounge, his 35 large vibrant abstract works that were met with wide acclaim during the vernissage on November 12th. Miljan is ... Read More
helena christen
In My Dream Last Night…Helena Christensen & Camilla Stærk
‘In My Dream Last Night…’ is the armature behind an ongoing short film and sound concept by creative duo Stærk&Christensen, in collaboration with a number of artists from various fields who are a continuous source of inspiration to the duo. A collection of personal moments, thoughts and dreams are revealed and interpreted through each collaborator, underpinning the composition of the work.
Alysia Reiner and the New Woman’s World Order
It is a historic time in the history of the United States. More women than ever are running for president, educational opportunities are slowly advancing for women globally, and America has returned to having a female Speaker of the House. However, the fight for women’s rights and equality still rages on fiercely, and one of the biggest topics surrounding that issue in these contemporary times is motherhood.
Retiré: Cary Fagan x Giu Gui
Movement — a physical manifestation of our endless imagination. It allows us to create, to connect, to observe, and most importantly to know ourselves. To move is to be free. In this series, Fagan captures the intimacy of spontaneous expression. The motions, inspired by ballet, are so beautifully thoughtless they allow one’s true self to shine through. Ballerinas placed in a relaxed environment, turned off from the strains of perfectionism, yet still aware of movement. The motions are natural and evoke a childlike curiosity.
Theodora Richards
Between running her own radio station, modeling, and campaigning in the ongoing crusade for equal women’s rights, it’s a wonder that Theodora can even find time to squeeze in an interview. Growing up in a household with Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, it’s fairly inevitable that a strong musical backbone would form during Theodora’s childhood. With Off the Cuff, Theodora’s subscription Sirius radio station, she shares her unique taste with the world.
South of Reality: The Claypool Lennon Delirium
The Claypool Lennon Delirium is one of those rare bands that make you smarter when you listen to their music...The mood hovers around the spectrum of psychedelic rock, with dizzying bass riffs and otherworldly electric guitar.
Zac Posen: By the Gals, For the Gals
Coincidentally, just a couple weeks before showing ZAC ZAC at Coterie, Posen was asked by Google and their online program Made With Code, to create an LED dress. Made With Code’s website encourages girls to study science and technology. It tells the stories of various young ladies who have learned to computer coding to various ends: combined with biology to find the cure for cancer; enhancing costumes to create other worldly choreography on stage; and within fabric for literally enlightened clothing. Posen was asked to do the latter, showcasing an incredible light enhanced black gown worn by the model Coco Rocha for a group of women who code.
Stephen Posen
Drawing across a surface is a mysterious adventure, full of complex possibility and poetry. While the works represented on these pages date from the 1970’s to the present and incorporate diverse processes and mediums, they all share my life’s preoccupation with the power of the drawn line.
Joseph La Piana
My creative process is centered around the concept of evolution and the capacity to transform. I believe these concepts spring from a sense of optimism that we are not necessarily bound by our past, but by the boundless potential of the future. When a viewer engages with my work, I hope they are inspired by this optimism to imagine a future not bound by current preconceptions but infinite possibilities.
Millie Brown, Row DTLA Performance
Most recognized for performance as a non-traditional method of painting, Brown uses her body as a tool to create artifacts that are remnants of her process. Reminiscent of abstract expressionist studies, Brown produces aesthetically whimsical paintings with a deep underlining rawness of human emotion. Viewing the body as a vessel for spiritual practice, Brown pushes her physical and mental boundaries to reach a state of enlightenment from which creative expression and healing derives.
Bryan Adams: Pleasures of Abstraction
‘Etiam capillus unus habet umbram suam’ - The smallest hair casts a shadow + Francis Bacon
Nobody
The school sits square, brick, and bunker like, cupping a central yard, which I do remember as the exact spot Artie Cano knocked the wind out of me with one punch to the stomach after I said something he didn’t like. This, right in front of the willowy Michelle Jones, who from that moment on saw through me like I was a soap bubble.
ERA Now
Feminist has become a dirty word. So often people feel uncomfortable openly identifying as a feminist because of the misguided notion that the term means that women should have power over men or that it is a euphemism for “man-hater.” Feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights If you believe in that, congratulations you’re a feminist! Both men and women can be feminists. Now more than ever it is important for closeted feminists to come out into the open.
Robert Geller
I don’t have an ideal type of man. I guess the ideal man is the one who identifies with these clothes and who feels better in them. My clothes don’t scream but they do tell a story. You have to have the patience to understand this story to really appreciate my clothes.
Jasmine Lobe
1. At what point in your life did you first identify as a feminist and when did you become aware that a culture existed that devalued and debased women?  I didn’t really learn about feminism until I went to college. My mother was always a feminist but I don’t remember the word being used all that much. I associated it ... Read More
Nile Rodgers by Mick Rock
Last spring we were invited to the home of producer, musician and guitarist, Nile Rodgers in Westport, CT for an interview and photo shoot of epic proportions. Along with us was Liz Derringer, renowned music journalist, who cut her teeth at Warhol’s Interview Magazine and former wife of music legend Rick Derringer. Also joining us was legendary rock photographer Mick Rock, known as “The Man Who Shot the Seventies”.
Jen Awad: Love is Dead
Jen's ability to deliver cherubic, velvety vocals that effortlessly transition into the radical rumble of a runaway 18 wheeler doing 90 mph on an open highway is a feat in itself to witness live.