A Contemporary Renaissance Master

  • Romeo Gigli returned to Hong Kong and introduced his AW13 collection, which is decorated with renaissance details and highlighting a contemporary silhouette.
    Romeo Gigli collaborated with Joyce on his third collection. We caught up with the designer during his whirlwind trip to Hong Kong, amongst a busy schedule of model fitting, meeting with media and sampling the authentic dim sum lunch.

    Joyce is thrilled to reunite with the renaissance master again. We have followed Gigli to his home in Milan, pop-up store in Venice and campaign shooting in Beijing. This season, we brought him to Joyce’s Hong Kong office to work on the post-production of our third collaboration. He talked us through the AW13 collection while flicking through the artistic sketches and styling outfits enshrined on the models.

    “All the silk and cotton on raincoats and jackets are really soft and provide movement, because I love seeing a woman flying!”

    “I started the women’s collection with a palette of darker shades such as silk grey, dark grey, green forest, dark blue with some fuchsia.” Gigli explained.

    The rich palette is inspired by the beautiful nature in autumn so it is only natural to incorporate roses as one of the major motifs. The romantic textured brocade, poetic bubble shape and contemporary asymmetric neckline are Gigli’s signature elements. But there is a new softness and lightness in this collection.

    “All the silk and cotton on raincoats and jackets are really soft, I use many metres of light fabrics in making the skirts and dresses so that they provide movement because I love seeing a woman flying!” He truly adores his women. The AW13 Gigli woman is a walking renaissance painting and an ethereal fairy, who blends seamlessly with her modern surroundings.

    The Gigli men, on the contrary, have gone from “old-world charm” to “new urban sleek”. The designer used a lot of zippers in the jackets, the result being a modern hybrid outerwear - neither formal jacket nor tough biker - which suits a work meeting as well as a weekend getaway. Knitwear is another highlight in the AW13 menswear. The key is to layer different coloured knitwear on a printed shirt and match with tailored cropped trousers to create a contemporary, casual- smart look.

    Gigli described his mens’ collection. “The men's culture comes from tailoring and England is where tailoring comes from. I never forgot that.” So do not be fooled, the seemingly casual approach to menswear is actually a contemporary interpretation of the classic English tailoring.

    The adventurous traveller has very fond memories of Hong Kong and China (he first set foot in China when everyone was still wearing Mao suits). The authentic taste of dim sum satiate his stomach, his interest for the Far East as well as his thirst for cultural diversity. He then went to the Central Joyce store to talk about his latest collection to the Hong Kong media. The collection was well received and everyone was excited to meet with the legendary designer again. The previous Joyce and Romeo Gigli collaborations re-ignited Gigli’s glory and gathered his long lost fans (and friends) who had been missing the master and his artful pieces for decades. They also attracted a young following who had never had the chance to experience the Gigli romance until now. We believe the AW13 collection will re-confirm Gigli’s status in fashion history.

    Interview by Lucienne Leung-Davies