February 11, 2012 New York
Moments like this involve a delicate balance for a young label. You've got to move forward to show you're capable of developing a vision, and yet in the process you don't want to jettison what made you successful. For Fall, Sizzi mostly did a fine job of walking that tightrope, adding pops of color (a harbinger of things to come for resort, she hinted), a dash of baroque, and more volume to her typically austere lines. (Though it was partly undermined by a few growing-pains glitches like a broken zipper and belts that sat askew.)
Sizzi says she was inspired by the Visconti film The Leopard, the 1860's through the lens of the 1960's, and the idea of palazzo life, from morning prayers to fancy-dress balls. "It's more whimsical," Sizzi explained in a preview. "I want it to feel traditional but happy and playful." For day, the collection was prim and tailored. While some of the stiff white collars might not be for everyone, existing fans will find their way to the simplicity of a chocolate tunic and cropped pants, or an ivory sheath worn over an eggshell bow blouse. You understood the point of the square pilgrim buckle belts, but at times they added a less-than-welcome retro heft. Part of Sizzi's appeal is her authenticity, and she continued that in the tile-like Trevano motif from her native Florence in a luxe-looking brocade cut into little pants and culottes, and made into a custom jacquard knit.
Full-on evening, however, was uneven. The two dresses that ended the show didn't entirely make their case, but a frilled white dress, inspired by the gown worn by Claudia Cardinale in The Leopard's ball scene, had just the right dose of sugary sweetness for a convincing closing argument.