Roberto Rimondi can't be bothered with the fashion PR flimflam. "Antipatico," is how he described himself before his latest show with partner Tommaso Aquilano. He claimed he's fallen out of love with the fashion world. Perverse, when you consider that the duo's line is one of the most purely "fashion" collections in Milan, rich in its detail, challenging in its proportions, jewel-like in its coloring, couturelike in its obsessive polish. But maybe it was his antipatico-ness that steered Rimondi and Aquilano toward Paul Gauguin as an inspiration for their latest outing. Gauguin the nonconformist, the artist who turned his back on success to live on his own tropical island…you could see Rimondi misting over at the very idea. And if he couldn't make his own escape, he could at least incorporate the hothouse essence of Gauguin into Aquilano.Rimondi's equally hothouse world.
Clever idea. There were some spectacular tropical prints in A.R's collection. But they had the gothic cast of the prints Miuccia Prada used in her men's show last June. (In case you missed the shadow in the sunlight, Depeche Mode's "Strangelove" played out the show.) It seemed only right that a collection that married duchesse satin and neoprene should take such a dark turn. If athleticism was a thread throughout (as it has been everywhere in Milan), Aquilano.Rimondi exaggerated the body beautiful to a lean extreme, cropping tops, stitching pleats, belting everything into a paper-bag silhouette (the über-belted waist always hints at a redefined frame). The designers exploded chaotically onto the catwalk at show's end, clearly not averse to speed themselves.