Primitive Plastique

The longer I spend in Milan, the more curious I am to find its underbelly, beyond the admittedly fabulous ritz, glitz and serious ¬£¬£¬£ of the shows that I've been seeing (all will emerge here in the next few months…).  Going down south of all of that razzle dazzle had its rewards.  I finally got to see a boutique in Milan which spoke to my sensibility.  Wok has been open since 2007 but my dumbass knowledge of Milan means I only found out about it from the source herself.  Co-owner Simona Citarella just so happened to be my shoe saviour whilst I was in Portugal working on the Six London shoe project where she helped me make my bonkers shoe design a reality.  I'm not sure how she finds the time to a) freelance for Six London designing their shoes and overseeing production, b) own a cool store in Milan and now c) start her own shoe label.  She does it all whilst looking incredibly interesting.  Something about her eyebrows told me at first glance that we'd have lots to chat about and my eyebrow-reading instincts got it spot on…

IMG_3873

I won't delve too deep into Wok, the store but suffice to say the mix is varied and takes you by surprise as you find Anntian, Jeremy Scott x Adidas, Christopher Lemaire, Gloverall and Super sunnies all mixing together seamlessly along side more oddball finds such as headgear by young Italian milliner Ilariusss as well as amazing printed jackets incorporated with backpacks by new Berlin-based designer Julian Zigerli. 

IMG_3822

IMG_3855 IMG_3824

IMG_3861

The main subject of this post is the launch of Simona's solo shoe label Simona Vanth.  Her debut collection 'Primitive Plastique' takes a look at the origins of men and primitive material discovery which is then combined with Simona's appreciation for high quality craftsmanship.  She took a look at the minimalism of the 60s and the 90s as well as looking at furniture surfaces to inject into her shoe collection which looks raw and refined all at the same time.  Colliding the natural and the man made has been something of an emerging theme in the S/S 12 shows and pops up in Simona's collection too where surfaces such on a mottled black wedge looks like molten lava (created by silicone drops).  The leather work harks back to qualities of ancient footwear (it's actually vegetal calf leather).  Macrame that evokes basket-weaving is a collaboration with Manon Beuchot who experiments with knitwear installations.  Simona actually worked with a number of emerging creativies to create her lookbook and store installation which is definitely indicative of an interesting underbelly in Milan that I'd love to find out more about.  For instance the photography of the lookbook is by Dario Salamone and the installation and art direction is by Valentina Cameranesi and ITS6 nominee Maria Giulia Giorgiani, names I'll be checking out for their archive work. 

IMG_3895

IMG_3831

IMG_3893

IMG_3896

IMG_3839

IMG_3897

IMG_3834

IMG_3889

IMG_3890
IMG_3899

IMG_3841

IMG_3900

IMG_3836

IMG_3837

IMG_3901

IMG_3903

Even the catering for the launch of the shoes is carefully considered.  Natascia Fenoglio of Ciboh created this molten lava chocolate meringue that comes complete with a small hammer and rubber gloves for guests to excavate away and tuck into what smelt like a sickly sweet treat…

IMG_3871

IMG_3887

11 Replies to “Primitive Plastique”

  1. Why would we want to see FW stuff months later when every other style blog has already discussed it all? No offense..

  2. those shoes are incredible! they kind of look home made (that’s a compliment believe it or not) and i love the colours xx

  3. K: Well, I feel like if we’re not actually going to see the stuff in stores until say January/February, there’s a life in collections BEYOND fashion month I’d say. If you want speedy reviews, go to Style.com or Vogue.com. If I take my time with it, that’s my prerogative, you don’t have to read it.
    Oh and yes, as Hiroshi San said it’s S/S, we’re dealing with not A/W or F/W…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *