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Romeo Gigli Vintage Collection

July 15, 2011

I  have been buying Milanese designer Romeo Gigli clothes since 1983 when he first launched his label to 1996 when he went spectacularly bandkrupt. I have also managed to buy some vintage pieces in the 21st century. I now have a collection of 58 pieces.

I loved the fact that Romeo Gigli did not have a specialized education in fashion design and that he came from an  aristocratic Italian family that had been antiquarian booksellers for generations (books are my other passion).  He had initially trained as an architect. He used sensuous  fabrics –  fine cottons, linens, silks, cashmere and stretch velvets -. his clothes are romantic, fluid, richly coloured and opulent.

Gilgi did not use shoulder pads in his clothes in the 90s when every fashion designer seemed to depict women as wounded warriors.

He highlighted the gracefulness of a women’s neck and shoulders often travelling to exotic locations particularly the East seeking ethnic references in national costume. His clothes up until 1996 brought a refreshing air of romance and simplicity back into fashion  – a combination of renaissance regalness, Japanese severity and ethnic bohemianism.

Romeo Gigli’s own statement that he designed for “a woman who was an intellectual bohemian” appealed to my vanity.  I found no contradiction in being an intellectual bohemian in business. Romeo Gigli is a poet and dreamer and I would like to think that’s exactly what I am.

Pictures: Jacqueline Mitelman

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