WOMEN F/W 2018 - ISSUE #8

Have you already put the evening in focus?


Sophisticated and elegant, the Davide Cenci Dal 1926 woman chooses velvet: black and white minimalism in velvet and cashmere.

Days gone by, bourgeois drawing rooms, and regal apparel—we’re talking about velvet, a material originated in the area between Central Asia, Iran, and Iraq around the XIII century. Evocative and sophisticated, the word comes from the Latin vellus, and thus fleece, cape, or thick fur covering, but it reaches our shores with the name of samite, a medieval fabric with a peculiar structure and weave, visibly satiny and bright. Palermo and Venice were the first cities where it was made in Europe; this is because the former was linked to Arab imports while the latter was in constant contact with the Orient. After the insurrection of the Vespers, many weavers started moving toward the republics of Amalfi and Lucca and spread the production and certainly increased the interest in this very charming fabric, a symbol of preciousness and wealth.

VELVET IS BACK AND HERE TO STAY: FROM THE 13TH CENTURY TO OUR DAY, ACROSS DISTANT AGES, SOCIAL GATHERINGS OF THE HAUTE BOURGEOISIE AND ROYAL GRAB, DOWN TO THE CONTEMPORARY WOMAN, TWIXT FALSE INNOCENCE AND POWER.

The opulence it exudes with the gold and silver brocade also speaks to the history of art, which in turn didn’t back down from celebrating it and elevating it to a class of its own. It’s clear to see how much the noble class loved velvet, since it appears in countless paintings and works of art. The frescoes of the Ghirlandaio or those at Palazzo di Schifanoia in Ferrara are perfect examples. Portraits of dames and knights from the Sforzesca Court and paintings that almost seemed like photographs by artists like Antonello da Messina. In the color of blood and of passion , in hues ranging from crimson to burgundy, it reigned supreme even during the era of Art Deco, which paired it with silk and chiffon and made it a symbol of lust and luxury. Eventually, in the 1970s, this translated into a concept of a young, dark woman, seemingly innocent but possessing a certain power. This dark angel resembling a maleficent lady of a castle would later be the female star of some more or less peculiar runways, from L’Wren Scott to Gucci. Perhaps at times a bit redundant, velvet powerfully steps back into the limelight time and time again. Just like in the Davide Cenci Dal 1926 lineup, where the short black double-breasted coat made out of silk velvet—extremely bright and soft to the touch thanks to its workmanship—goes together with the slim fit pants made out in a stretch jacquard fabric. The white turtleneck is pure cashmere with mini-cable design, contrasting trim, and ribbon detail on the wrist. The feet don the women’s version of Church's Shannon shoes, a softly designed replica of the men’s lace up shoe by the same name. A perfect total black look for soirées where one must keep a certain decorum, but also just right matched with jeans to lighten up an imposing and divine fabric like what we have understood velvet to be.

BLACK VELVET IS THE ABSOLUTE PROTAGONIST OF THIS OUTFIT BY DAVIDE CENCI: THE BLACK SILK VELVET DOUBLE-BREASTED COAT LENDS SHINE AND ELEGANCE. THE WHITE TURTLENECK IS IN PURE CASHMERE, WITH BRAID PATTERN AND BLACK CONTRASTING PROFILES. THE TROUSERS ARE IN THE SAME TONE AS THE COAT AND ARE MADE OF PRECIOUS STRETCH JACQUARD FABRIC.

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