Primitive Plastique

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…


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. 


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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. 
















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…




Leave a comment
  1. K

    2011-09-25 at 7:38 PM

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

  2. Sarah

    2011-09-25 at 8:31 PM

    This shop looks absolutely lovely. Stunningly set out and the prints are absolutely wonderful.

  3. Hiroshi San

    2011-09-25 at 8:47 PM

    it’s not a fw stuff but next ss collection … sorry to tell you darling K … xoxo K

  4. MstrdavidPOP

    2011-09-25 at 9:06 PM

    Love the designs, they look out of this world.
    Very impressive

  5. the visual jerbil

    2011-09-25 at 9:28 PM

    thats a whole lotta shoe-ooh-la-la

  6. Little Red Book

    2011-09-25 at 9:45 PM

    What an amazing shop and the prints and aesthetics are so beautiful.

  7. Els

    2011-09-25 at 9:55 PM

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

  8. susie_bubble

    2011-09-25 at 11:16 PM

    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 or 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…

  9. Joy

    2011-09-26 at 1:38 AM

    I love it! Everything is gorgeous!

  10. slimbykings

    2011-09-26 at 2:44 AM

    Thank you for this, nutritious information as always!
    Haha I like how you relate to eyebrows xxx

  11. Vladi

    2011-09-26 at 6:29 PM

    Julian Zigerli is Zurich-based, not Berlin-based.

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