Once upon a time on a sunny summer day in July, Italian fashion designer Antonio Grimaldi presented his Fall-Winter 2018/2019 couture collection at Paris Fashion Week. Being welcomed at the venue, Les Salons France-Amérique, one would definitely feel like wandering into a fairytale. The gorgeous lounge and hallways with hand-painted art on the walls and ceilings give way to the lovely marble stairs with red carpet that we ascend to the grand salon, where we are met with quite the hectic welcoming and seating of guests. After some confusion, we were finally seated in the beautiful gold-trimmed white room.
For this collection, Antonio Grimaldi draws inspiration from Charles Baudelaire’s poem “hymn á la beauté” in which he passionately describes a timeless beauty that is as absolute as a love that knows no boundaries, gender or barriers. Furthermore, the Elizabethan and Victorian elegance of the English noblewomen were exemplar to the way Antonio blends classic silhouettes with a modern edge, naming the collection “Punk queens”. We must admit that we were not familiar with the specific Baudelaire ode to beauty, although the theme was very unclouded and outspoken to us in his designs. The long gowns all had something very time-honored and simple about them, while showing quite unusual but beautiful cuts and asymmetrical balances.
Among the models there were also some male looks, showing us some silky and velvety tuxedo suits with unusual details such as silk inserts, small spikes in patterns or sheer shirts underneath. The attitude of British lords, with one among all being Oscar Wilde, served as inspiration for these looks. We loved how all of the pants for men were very wide legged, a silhouette on the verge of making a refreshing comeback. The very large lapels and hefty patterns with embellishments however, did make the overall ensembles feel a little unrefined.
Our favorite women’s looks were the stunning red dress which looked like it had three different layered capes, and the white dress embellished with feathers. Some of the dresses with capes were constructed in such a modern fluid way that almost made them look like gowns for a very elegant Star Wars queen. Speaking to the Punk queen vibe, all of the models’ heads were adorned with a trail of golden spikes running through their parted hair, which had a very raw and newfangled effect. Created by Bernard Delettrez, we feel that these headpieces could definitely become the latest must-have accessory and the collaboration with Antonio Grimaldi surely was a great fit. Because to quote Charles Baudelaire himself; “strangeness is a necessary ingredient in beauty”.