February 25, 2012 Milan
The designers emphasized two silhouettes: very feminine—a bustier and an accent on the hips—versus a masculine influence, with double-breasted jackets over skort and trousers. The cross-gender dialogue offered the duo an opportunity to explore extraordinary fabrics, like the micro-jacquard they used for their suits and the double-faced faille used in those scuba dresses with the tapestry overlay. "Black is the new gold," Rimondi said. That meant rich tone-on-tone embroideries, but also black leather, as sleeves on a dress or a cape (if you're inclined toward one of the season's major trends, this is the cape you should be looking at). And often, it meant everything together: ottoman and scuba and velvet and leather in one glorious farrago, with a single long zip snaking down the spine to hold it all together. True, Aquilano.Rimondi's vision is unyielding in its single-mindedness, but this is one instance where generosity of spirit is weakness. Perfection is a hard taskmaster.