The Italian Trade Commission (ITC) is a government agency that promotes trade and business opportunities between Italian and foreign companies. Being that Italy produces some of the world’s most luxurious fashion and leather goods, the collaboration between Italy’s Trade Commission and the Academy of Art University sounds like a match made in heaven! This year the ITC sponsored seven MFA Fashion Design students and one MFA Textile Design student from Academy of Art University. These eight students came together to create the Italian Trade Commission Collection, which was shown at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Spring 2012 show in New York this past week. The fashion school students who worked together for the last eight months to create the collection are Cecilia Q. Xie, Zenia Kim, Kate Lee, Ginie Huang, Jessie Jie Liu, Iglika Vasileva Matthews, Tanja Milutinovic and Ilana Dora Siegelman.
Using fabrics and trims hand picked from six of Italy’s well known fabric mills, the ITC Collection was a beautiful acknowledgement of the classic broad shoulders, form fitting pencil skirts, and flowing wide legged trousers of the 40’s and 50’s. Silver screen starlets of the past, like Joan Crawford or Gene Tierney, could have slipped into any of these garments and been just as elegant today as in times past. The collection consisted of separates, jackets, dresses and gowns. A muted palette of neutral beiges, taupes, creams, grays and silver, provided an added sense of luxuriousness and allowed the fabric textures to speak freely to the movement of the body.
This collection was well executed and modern. There was a nice balance between flowing and structured lines. The flow, drape and cut of the fabrics on the body kept the silhouettes feminine, while the straight lines of the shoulders and necklines provided a lady-like strength. These clothes make me wish Casual Friday’s at the office . . . . and Mondays and Tuesdays and Wednesdays, for that matter, were a thing of the past.