Manuela Arcari's manifesto—"casual and concise as the anti-uniform of a revolt"—was so contrary as to immediately intrigue. The gift horse of anarchy should never be looked in the mouth.
Maybe Arcari meant her catwalk would be awash with individuality, anti-uniforms. Wrong. What she offered was a consistent dark-bordering-on-Gothic vision. Casual it wasn't—there was far too much serious structure for that. But it was definitely concise. The designer displayed her usual facility with couture shapes: Amidst the A-lines, a black-and-white baby doll stood out. A huge jumpsuit, gripped by a half-belt in back, also had the one-off vibe of a couture piece. And Arcari exploded an animal print to create a nu-couture camouflage, in a suit composed of an A-line jacket over a wrap skirt.
That sophisticated structure was tempered with a shaggily textural fur and leather subtext. Did Arcari picture the bonded leather breastplates as a stylish option for her neo-revolutionaries? There were echoes of Rei Kawakubo's elegant refusal in the way Arcari subverted silhouettes with, say, an asymmetric panel of fur, or a bib of ruffles. Same with the shaggy shoes, except they were shown with ankle socks. The oblique suggestiveness of that combination was a perfect counterpoint to Arcari's manifesto.