For her debut solo show, Karoline Vitto decamped from London to Milan and could count on the support of Dolce & Gabbana, as part of the brand’s ongoing project endorsing young designers.
The Brazilian-born talent is known for putting larger bodies at the center of her brand, which was launched in 2020, and celebrating self confidence by accentuating curves and folds via sensual clothing.
When confronted with the heritage of the Italian house, this approach was further enhanced. Vitto drew inspiration from the Dolce & Gabbana spring 1992 collection and its lingerie world to offer body-con dresses rich in cutouts. These were often punctuated with medallions and coins collected from the markets of São Paulo or Vitto’s signature hardware detailing inspired by anatomical shapes.
The opening look seen on Ashley Graham introduced a knitted series, which was distressed to reveal satin bras borrowed from Dolce & Gabbana. Denim was combined with lace inserts to further build on the revealing narrative, before a plethora of jersey frocks, bras, miniskirts and swimsuits paraded on a cast of curvy girls alone, which turned out to become the focal point of the show.
“We wanted not to have any standard sample size models, so we started from a [U.K.] size 10 until a 24,” said a teary-eyed Vitto after the show, before receiving a hug from Graham.
“This is diversity. We need more curves on the runway, we need to have this to be the normal,” Graham said. “If I’m feeling normal on the runway with these pretty girls, that means there’s something that doesn’t feel normal when I’m on the runway with the others. Let’s normalize this.”
The topic of diversity remains a hot, controversial theme in the fashion industry, one that often seems to fall into the same trap of greenwashing (or curve-washing in this case) when brands cast just one or two prominent curvy models just to check the inclusivity box rather than fully embracing bigger sizes.
So on one hand, Graham’s words couldn’t ring any truer and Vitto’s approach is noble and refreshing. On the other, we are eventually called to talk about clothes, and for as much Vitto’s message and the show’s vibrant energy were right on, a couple of these looks simply weren’t as flattering as these bodies deserved.
When the clothes will stand as the main topic regardless of the type of body wearing them, that’s likely when the normalization process will be one step closer.
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