Helmut Newton’s spirit hovered over the Blumarine show. “Always loved his work, how can you not? Always been one of my heroes,” said Nicola Brognano backstage. Newton lensed memorable advertising campaigns for Blumarine; one of the best was shot in 1995, with a young Eva Herzigova clad in a skintight black satin number, slit high to reveal her fabulous legs. Brognano had Herzigova, still breathtakingly gorgeous at 48, close today’s show, nicely coming full circle.
You cannot reference Helmut Newton without conjuring dark, sultry atmospheres of intrigue. Brognano is prodding the girly Blumarine ingénue to enter grown-up territory. “She’s more femme and sexual,” he said. His co-conspirator, über-stylist Lotta Volkova, chimed in: “She isn’t so pretty and girly anymore—or at least not only. She has grown into a strong, sexy woman, in command of her body, and powerful. She is a glamorous vamp.”
Nocturnal and provocative, the collection was paraded by a cast diverse in age and body type, reflecting the image shift. Lila Grace Moss, Euphoria’s Chloe Cherry, and Mini Anden were among various beautiful curvy figures and willowy, slender silhouettes: all looked equally alluring, clad in a series of skintight, draped micro dresses, each one slinkier, sexier, and skimpier than the other.
A bold palette of black, red and purple signaled an erotic detour from the candy pinks and powdery baby blues favored by Blumarine’s teen incarnation. Sweeping long black coats, shapely and nipped at the waist, looked dramatic; in Newton-esque style, faces were sometimes veiled, eyes hidden behind dark glasses. A catsuit in black patent leather with a built-in bustier had an obvious fetish allure; the see-through top with breast-hiding velvet hearts worn by Herzigova in the Newton campaign was remade, as an homage to the Blumarine’s heyday.
After five collections which have refreshed the label’s fashion status, Brognano’s trajectory is looking similar to that of his Blumarine girl/woman. He too is growing more confident, in control, and bolder in his choices.