When full teams from two major retailers take up several seats at your tiny first runway show, it's a good sign. That was the case at Giulietta, the label launched last season by Gucci and Donna Karan alum Sofia Sizzi.
But considering her classicist bent, the new designer's early success in sales—she's already at Net-a-Porter and Barneys, Resort ships shortly to the Webster, and Ikram's not far behind—isn't surprising. Sizzi's work has a Philo-by-way-of-Florence simplicity with immediate appeal. The designer's inspiration usually hews close to sixties-era Italy, her native land. For Spring, she imagined a mondaine woman like Veruschka (see the models' piled-high, blunt-cut ponytails) or Marisa Berenson heading to a Mediterranean island, where she'd eventually take to traditional local fare, like daisy-patterned lace and scarf prints.
The show was bookended, Sizzi explained, with her muse's sleeker city clothes. But what stood out more were the peasant-y, worked pieces that came in between, like a billowy scarf-printed skirt or a honey-hued sheer lace dress with faintly belled sleeves. There were several looks made with the labor-intensive but beautiful technique of sewing stripes of ribbon onto tulle. It's the kind of old-school dressmaker's detail that Sizzi loves, and that sets her apart.
A Giulietta piece could look like your greatest vintage score, and some may take issue with that emphasis on the past. But Sizzi's quiet willingness to do what she loves and not feel pressured into grand statements speaks volumes, and clearly people are paying attention.