Diego Binetti did indeed usher in a New Era with his eponymous line. Focus Studios, a stylishly situated midtown west venue of provided the perfect backdrop for Mr. Binetti’s decidedly bohemian collection with its concrete floors, metal benches, and grand columns. The open space seemed to galvanize an underlying spirit of freedom and transition. With a runway presentation that felt more like performance art, members from New York’s Cedar Lake Dance Company made an unexpected and unconventional appearance literally rolling the models out on mobile platforms for a statement that was both impactful and dramatic.
The interpretative presentation was a well-edited capsule collection of 17 looks divided into smaller vignettes. For his Fall 2009 collection, the Italian designer worked very closely with a modern dance troupe to mimic the movements of a clock’s second hand. Performance artists rotated the models with timepiece precision, having them step down at the twelve, three, six, and nine o’clock positions to form a human clock. The metaphor of space and time gave the runway show an ease and fluidity, splicing together snapshots from a modern woman’s accelerated lifestyle, as if those moments could be manipulated, even suspended, with an ability to stop and start the clock, at will.
The catalyst for this collection was a 21st century ingénue, whose day melds seamlessly into night; her ensemble needs to make an effortless transition by merely exchanging one or two items. She is a spontaneous free-spirit who may meet up with her girlfriends after work for an impromptu cocktail, surprise her boyfriend with flamenco lessons, and is even at the ready when she scores a last-minute invitation to an emerging artist’s exhibition at that hip, new gallery downtown! Blurring the line between day and night has evolved past a sportswear trend into a sartorial necessity. If an item can play double, triple, or better still quadruple duty, it instantly increases the cachet of a garment.
With this chameleon format, we were able to get a sense of who the Binetti woman wants to be, how her mood is elevated by a simple wardrobe change, and the resulting persona she adopts. Each look almost felt like a variation of the one before it—so that you might start with a tailored suit in black or charcoal, but by changing the jacket to a bold batik tunic, you’ve updated the silhouette and color way; by switching the fitted trousers for gaucho pants, the shape is redefined once more; and by swapping the tunic for a romantic Victorian blouse, you’ve created yet another fashion personality. This collection allows its consumer to let her imagination run wild, identifying the parallels and distinctions of the woman she is and perhaps still wants to become with its allusively transformative properties.
The raw, rough-hewn setting with its high ceilings, white walls, and open seating enveloped this eclectic collection with a heightened sense of drama and romanticism. The palette predominantly featured basic neutrals black, white, and grey countered by purple, gold, and multicolor ethnic prints. The silhouette often felt softly defined and feminine, whether it was a tailored suit, a Grecian blouse, a faux fur coat, or a ruffled dress. Design details and notions like encrusted silver sea buttons, vintage trims, ribbons, hardware, and notions gave the collection a vagabond aesthetic that was alluring and self-assured, while remaining relaxed and unfussy.
The Binetti girl has been described as one part hippie and one part hipster; she possesses an unadulterated sophistication and self-awareness. This heterogeneous blend of suits for day and more free-flowing pieces for play mastered that fine dichotic line that designers have been flirting with since Yves Saint Laurent first introduced Le Smoking. The Binetti-Boho muse tilted a head full of gently tousled tendrils, arched her foiled brow and pouted her plum-stained mouth as if to defy convention. She’s engaging, provocative, unpredictable, and a mystery waiting to be unraveled.
My favorite looks from the collection included: the multi-color African printed dress with attached embroidered wood collar, black motorcycle silk jersey pants and grey goat suede patchwork; a purple leopard faux fur jacket with wind blown printed silk blouse, grey motorcycle silk jersey pants and black crochet suede fringe bag; the black gaucho silk dress, black long alpaca shawl, and black mohair belt with vintage porcelain buckles; an antique white wool camel hair jacket with accents of black vintage trims, pearl buttons and silver sea star brooches atop a white silk blouse and white motorcycle jersey pants with white lamb leather patchwork; the antique white silk pleated dress with origami ribbons layered under an antique white Ostrich feather capelet.
Founded in August 2001, the Binetti line is known for its innovative, thought-provoking designs. One might say that Diego Binetti has fashion in his blood, long before co-founding his eponymous line with business partner Ada Lee; he grew up in Buenos Aires, assisting his dressmaker mother. The designer credits his enthusiasm and passion for design with being exposed to a world of free expression at an early age. The Miami International University of Art & Design alum continued to hone his craft with a four-year study at Instituto Marangoni in Milan. Mr. Binetti has enjoyed successful tenures at Bulgari and Jill Stuart, where he worked closely with some of the industry’s top stylists. The bohemian chic collection is sold in over 60 storefronts across the United States and 22 countries worldwide.
Images provided courtesy of Binetti.
For more information, please visit http://www.ilovebinetti.com/