International jury chooses Francesco Malandrini as the winner of the Polimoda Fashion Show
June 12th, 2019, Florence – The Polimoda Fashion Show: Supernature was held on June 11th, 2019 at Manifattura Tabacchi in Florence, where the best collections of final-year Fashion Design students were presented in front of a prestigious international jury composed of twenty-two representatives of each branch of the fashion sector to elect The Best Collection of 2019; from Editor- in-Chief of Hypebeast Arby Li to top model and activist Lea T, Chief Marketing Officer of Alexander McQueen Paolo Cigognini to Tutoring & Consulting Director of Pitti Immagine Luca Rizzi and photographer Sven Marquardt to ASVOFF founder Diane Pernet.
Supernature: Polimoda fashion Show 2019, Francesco Malandrini Credits: Polimoda, Ph. Giovanni Giannoni
On a catwalk illuminated with evocative projections through the windows of the industrial spaces of Manifattura Tabacchi and on the notes of a playlist featuring the iconic track Supernature by Cerrone, twenty-two collections made their debut, selected at the end of the final course year and based on creativity, innovation and technical realization with the contribution of legendary Creative Director Alber Elbaz who assisted as a special guest in the selection of the finalists together with course mentor Sara Kozlowski, CFDA Director of Education and Professional Development, and the director of Polimoda Danilo Venturi.
Supernature: Polimoda fashion Show 2019, Kyungdeok Kim
Credits: Polimoda, Ph. Giovanni Giannoni
Each designer presented six outfits, the ultimate synthesis of creative maturity that completed the transition from student to designer and the first effective entry into the world of fashion. Twenty-two extremely different collections, each with a different concept, design and personality, yet all united by the same high technical quality and great passion, were met by an enthusiastic audience who applauded with fervor.
Supernature: Polimoda fashion Show 2019, Yada Fei
Credits: Polimoda, Ph. Giovanni Giannoni
The jury chose the menswear collection HERD – la mandria by Tuscan native Francesco Malandrini as the Best Collection of 2019. Timeless pieces that prophetically opened the Polimoda Fashion Show and that “aim to be a sort of inquiry about human behavior, where an archetypal menswear wardrobe is twisted around the dualism of compression and expansion; sometimes we experience sorrow almost by chance, without any clear reason or trigger: this fragile potential of ours tells a lot about our role and place as animals in this world,” explains the talented designer. Foam garments become both a form of protection and an obstacle to movement, while still-life prints, reworked in vivid unnatural colors, remind us of belonging to the “herd” and our common fate. A claustrophobic sense of loss and feral melancholy is the main thread that runs through the collection. “There is dignity in little movements, faith in losing. We are beasts amongst beasts, just tamed by everyday interactions and unpredictable losses.”
Thanks to the partnership with Pitti Immagine, the winner will receive the Pitti Tutoring & Consulting Reward, which includes a series of personalized consulting sessions with Luca Rizzi, Tutoring & Consulting Director, and his team, on the topics of Portfolio Review/Setup, Orientation Meeting and Strategy Meeting, with the aim of supporting the young designer in the first steps of his professional career.
Julian Alexander Romano
Francesco Malandrini’s collection reflects the concept of Supernature, denoting the dualism between craftsmanship and technology that has marked the entirety of human history. The concept stems from the definition of techne, the Greek divine personification of art, translated over the centuries as “ars,” “technique” and “know-how.” This term embodies the human ability to use tools, the artisanal capacity of transforming nature into product, as well as the art of creating beauty, all of which make human beings unique in the animal kingdom: primitive beings that are continuously advancing technologically, in the never-ending contradiction between nature and technology, past and future, art and science.
Giorgio Matteo Lorusso
"We live in a world of contradictions," explains director Danilo Venturi. "We use technology to make sure that what we produce is natural and we call it sustainability. We access content from electronic devices but we do it with our fingers. We spend more time in the virtual world than in the real world, but most of the images we publish and observe are human faces. We have beautiful landscapes but we want to do tourism in space. We are all techno-primitive; this gives us a superiority that is monstrous, potentially destructive, supernatural, yet cultural. All of this is also reflected in clothes and accessories because fashion is the mirror of society, and we found it in the collections of these young talents, who were able to give shape to their ideas and emotions because of their hard work. I am proud of the personal and professional growth of each of them. This year, the quality of the garments reached an impressive level, and I congratulate Francesco Malandrini for his victory; I am sure that we will be hearing about him very soon."
The Jury The jury brings together qualified figures from each branch of the sector: in media, director of Vogue Italia and L'Uomo Vogue Emanuele Farneti, Editor-in-Chief of Hypebeast Arby Li, founder of ASVOFF Diane Pernet, digital publisher Bryanboy and influencer and founder of LEAF WeChat Leaf Greener; in the industry, Richemont’s Artistic Director Giampiero Bodino, Alexander McQueen’s Chief Marketing Officer Paolo Cigognini, Emilio Pucci’s Deputy Chairman & Image Director Laudomia Pucci, United Arrows’ Co-Founder & Creative Advisor Hirofumi Kurino, Alibaba Group’s Director of Business Development Christina Fontana and Karla Otto’s Global Executive Director Alexander Werz; creatives such as British artist Philip Colbert, fashion designer Bernhard Willhelm, top model and activist Lea T and German photographer Sven Marquardt; in education, Simon Ungless from the Academy of Art in San Francisco, Fabio Piras from Central Saint Martins, as well as Danilo Venturi and Linda Loppa for Polimoda; and in talent development, Sara Kozlowski, Director of Education and Professional Development of the CFDA, Mariasole Pastori, Talent Acquisition Manager of Eyes on Talent and Luca Rizzi, Tutoring & Consulting Director of Pitti Immagine.
The Designers The fashion show concludes the second year of collaboration with Sara Kozlowski, CFDA Director of Education and Professional Development, who was a special mentor for Fashion Design students and helped them develop their creative and professional identity. At the end of a four-year training course, the twenty-two designers were selected from all of the graduates in Fashion Design to present their collection of six outfits, the ultimate synthesis of creative maturity, marking the transition from student to designer and their first real entry into the fashion world. The designers are Giulia Baratti (Italy), Violetta Bretschneider (Germany), Manuel Calabrese (Italy), Yada Fei (China), Niccolò Fontanelli (Italy), Siria Giampietro (Italy), Benedetta Giannessi (Italy), Andrea Grossi (Italy), Miaomiao Jia (China), Kyungdeok Kim (South Korea), Angelina Kriventsova (Russia), Ketty Lin (Italy), Giorgio Matteo Lorusso (Italy), Francesco Malandrini (Italy), Benedetta Marcucci (Italy), Ambra Meineri (Italy), Giacomo Nasi (Italy), Claudia Novara (Italy), Mirea Papotto (Italy), Julian Alexander Romano (United States), Valentine Tinchant (Belgium) and Ting Xiong (China).
Location With Supernature, the industrial spaces of Manifattura Tabacchi are coming back to life thanks to Polimoda’s creativity. Day after day, the institute's future third location is taking shape at the iconic clock building, expected to open soon. Due to restoration and reorganization, 6000 square meters will host packaging workshops, knitwear, photographic studios and computer labs, as well as design and theory classrooms and a modern auditorium to accommodate approximately 800 students. After almost two decades of abandonment, one of the most evocative industrial monuments in the city will transform into a new center of culture and contemporary life.
Supernature: Polimoda Fashion Show 2019 Credits: Creative Direction Danilo Venturi, Course Mentor Sara Kozlowski, Production and Casting From Studio, Scent Design Olfattorio, Location Manifattura Tabacchi. Partners: Pitti Immagine, Pitti Tutoring & Consulting Sponsor: Class Hair Academy, K-array Eurofur, Falco Pellami, Filati BE.MI.VA., Freudenberg Performance Materials Apparel, ISKO, Khamir, Lanificio Bigagli, Lanificio Becherucci, Mohai Group, My Dream, Nuova Glory, Officina Ciemmeci, Riri.
(credits: Polimoda, ph Federica Fioravanti)