March 10th – Bristly, yet sensible
Heads were turned at the closing weekend of Seville fashion week with the opening of Manolo Panolo’s Autumn/Winter 2020 collection.
Panolo, for Langoustine, sent out his models in an array of outfits inspired, according to Panolo himself, by the infinite variety and subtle effervescence of woodland life.
Browns and muted tonals were the dominant colours, augmented by splashes of iridescence inspired by the trout of Panolo’s childhood, shimmers of colours reminiscent of the scrape of scales resting gently on a light granite work surface in his Milanese grandmother’s cottage in the dying days of autumn.
Outerwear was led by daring asymmetrical uni-collared coats, in synthetic acrylic, featuring badger and ocelot motifs and faux-lynx buttons. Those of us lucky enough to have front row seats were able to marvel at the detailing, buttons reminding one of water voles in an early frost, and dormice at play.
Langoustine are known for their risk-taking approach to daywear, and this was year’s collection is no exception: one-armed jumpers were matched with one-legged hosiery, accessorised with Langoustine’s signature triangular day bag and diamond-soled heels. Several models were draped with this season’s must have shawl, gossamer thin and evocative of dying leaves and wood mulch on December 16th, just after the rain. Samples of these were included in Langoustine’s promotional packs, on of which your reviewer was lucky enough to receive (I am wearing mine as I type).
The highlight of the show, however, and the moment that proved Panolo has lost none of his wow-factor, was the head-turning appearance of Belgian supermodel Silke Verkeeft, taking to the runway to the sound of EDM wunderkinds MaX4’s thumping hit Enlightenment (Part Deux) naked, save for Langoustine diamond heels and Panolo’s take on the Ushanka, dubbed by those fortunate to get an early preview, The Hedgehog Hat. Verkeeft oozed the confidence that can only be brought about by having your head wrapped in something the designer himself, in customary understatement, described as bristly, yet sensible, while your much-vaunted body in its glorious nakedness, serves to highlight the wonder of such a hat.
Manolo Panolo himself took to the runway himself at the end of the show, applauded to the end by models and a standing audience alike, while Silke Verkeeft, still in the woodland ushanka, but now swathed in Panolo’s gossamer shawl, presented the designer with the customary bouquet of neon sunflowers, one of the symbols of the Langoustine brand.
A triumphant close to a spectacular week.
Marie Bloom, for Stylish Magazine, Seville.
Inspired by a prompt from here.
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