You can’t trust sirens. Splendid creatures who are half woman, half fish, with long hair and intoxicating voices, who seduce men and lead them to their doom. Powerful figures who cut across eras and cultures, from the Assyrian goddess Atargatis to the Warsaw Mermaid, from the Indian fish-princess Suvannamaccha to the ningyo in Japan and Africa’s Mami Wata, they are the symbol of everything that women weren’t allowed be: too independent, too intelligent, too free, and too knowing.
It is precisely the power of the siren, and their hybrid and sparkling aesthetic, their independence and speed, which is the inspiration for the SPRING SUMMER 2023 DURAZZI MILANO collection, an evolution of the winter collection, deconstructed and reinvented by the sun and water, in a cyclical vision in which the seasons every time provide a different detail of a very clearly defined stylistic identity.
Pictured on the beach, in front of landscapes in which Nature becomes geometry and also Architecture, the collection is populated by twisting silhouettes of female bodies wrapped in leotards and overalls like Amazons: dark, severe and defined shadows accompanied by those cast by a black horse – the symbol of the DURAZZI MILANO universe – which crosses the scene like a metaphysical projection.
The fascination for the wildness of nature and man-animal hybridisation comes back strongly, finding its greatest expression in details that range from ones with a fetish feel, such as the piping which references a horse’s mane in tracing the outlines of fluid dresses – including the return of the iconic saddle skirt – to horsehair visors. More generally, in the entire collection there is constant use of details in leather, calf hair and metal, which add a very feminine irony to the creations.
Once again there is a perfect dialogue between formal shapes, the search for the essential and a suggestion of uniforms – which are other elements that are a key part of the DURAZZI MILANO look – in the linear cut of tailored coats and trousers in viscose canvas, and in shirts inspired by uniforms and presented in transparent muslin.
The compositional purity is unexpectedly disturbed by hints of different materials: sea beds, flowers dried in the sun, coral concretions, wet stones, undersea oxidation, metallic reflections give rise to fabrics that tell of sophisticated universes in which summer memories of forest paths and horse races on the beach become synthetic harmonies, waves of the sound of the best synth music.
And then we find metallic friezes in woven nets, fabrics interwoven with raffia, mouliné knits in sandy shades, silvery and perforated leather, degradé prints of undersea flowers, where the image, as in an underwater hallucination caused by the siren’s call or by a technological glitch, remains blurry.
Made in Italy, traditional craftsmanship and a fascination for the world of saddlery come together in the creation of bags and footwear, where the iconic riding boots, swing and bucket bags are reinterpreted with unexpected materials such as studs and mirrored surfaces. But here too the allure of hybridisation features, in sandals in lizard skin and Mary Jane shoes in calf hair, displaying once again the bond with the mystery of animal nature.
The solemnity of Greek korai sculptures, the aquatic transparencies of the sculptures of Roni Horn, the geometric shadows of the cement work by Giuseppe Uncini, the synthetic and hypnotic music from Laurie Spiegel and Birgit Jürgenssen’s animal hybridisation come together in a collection in which every detail tells the story of a powerful woman, the owner of her body, and of her fate, proud of her beauty and uniqueness, which takes strength from the mystery of nature: a siren as portrayed by a woman, without judgement, without moralising, and without fear.