Antonio Grimaldi's haute couture to be showcased in Riyadh
today Feb 4, 2016
At sunset, a sandy pink colour with coral hues envelops the houses, touched by the sun's last rays. There is a bazaar in the distance, people constantly on the move, a yearning for novelty. Designer Antonio Grimaldi drew inspiration from the city of Marrakesh for his new Spring/Summer haute couture collection, to be showcased in Riyadh at the Arts and Skills Institute on 11th February.
The designer let himself be seduced by the Moroccan city's timeless charm, scrutinizing its every corner, turning it into haute couture creations that play on the visual contrast between the ancient and the contemporary.
At one end, there is the old town: its walls, tapestries, Berber cloth and fabrics, its precious jewels, finely decorated pots and metalware, ceramics, mirrors and mosaics. It is like plunging into Morocco's ethnic world. At the other, there is modernity: the city's 1970s and Art Nouveau villas, with references to Yves Saint Laurent, the Majorelle gardens and Berber costumes. Lightness and soft,clean lines that glide over the body, high-class craftsmanship and sheer sensuality, for an effect that is revealing but not bare.
Grimaldi's collection features macramé point lace inlaid with thread, or leather, or embroidered like Berber carpets; flowing lines characterised by deep cleavages or slit skirts, both chaste and sheer; embroidered georgette and chiffon fabrics that create three-dimensional effects. Top Italian craftsmanship embraces technology too, featuring laser-printed, triple-layer organza.
The collection's must is the 'lampshade' dress, with all-over embroidery in metallic lace leaf. And the ever-present, hand-embroidered caftans, their classic fabrics seemingly etched with traditional Berber henna tattoos. Fine skill and research are reflected in the use of inlaid silks and iridescent gemstones. The palette echoes the colours of Marrakech: metallic hues like copper green, burnished silver, antique gold and platinum, as well as intense yellow and Majorelle blue.
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