INTERVIEW HIGH ART WITH THEATRICAL FLAIR

by Aquilano.Rimondi, masters of fashion design

Women just love Aquilano.Rimondi clothes. Meticulously executed from sumptuous fabrics, totally wearable and, best of all, fabulously flattering, it’s not hard to see why.

By its very nature, couture is a high art that lends itself to practitioners who are borderline obsessive-compulsive. Each garment is a miracle of perfectly placed pleats, folds, ruches and minutely detailed decoration using only the finest, most exquisite fabric. This equates to a huge number of man-hours that immediately explains the stratospheric price tag. But the great joy of Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi’s work is the expertly judged volume and meticulousness of cut that make for its famously flattering fit.

Like all those at the top of their game, their skills are in a continual process of evolution. Having met while designing coats for MaxMara, the Italian duo achieved recognition when they entered a collection in a Vogue Italia competition for new designers and won. The attention earned them creative directorships first at Malo, the luxury cashmere brand, and then at Gianfranco Ferré Womenswear. After helping prop up the fortunes of other fashion houses, they made the decision to go it alone in 2008.

The partnership developed organically – no special project, just mutual respect and a passion for design. There’s no design tradition in either’s family – they attribute their gift to a ‘rogue gene’. Influences come from the everyday – journeys, the street, art, music, cinema, dreams. For Fall/Winter 11/12, their collection was a baroque vision of darkly dramatic and excessive richness, glittering with liberal use of SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS and prompted by their then fascination with the work of 17th and 18th-century Italian artists Mantegna, Gentileschi and Tiepolo. SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS, they say, uniquely guarantees products that exceed benchmark standards of artisan quality: “Swarovski has become a point of reference – theirs are not simple stones or crystals, they are comparable to a fabric that pulses with a life of its own and is one of a kind. The light is a material in itself!”

‘Carpe diem’ best describes their career plan. They just want to do what they do best: design, with the simple desire “to make women sit up and take notice of what (they) can do, and to make fashion special and joyous when the economy is so bad”. In this, we can all agree, they have certainly succeeded.

Swarovski Crystals Magazine #01 - Everyday Extraordinary

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