A melancholic jazz staccato filled the air at Florence's dilapidated Palazzo Portinari-Salviati, while dour-faced models draped in silk were crystallized in an abstract arrangement on stage at Barbara Casasola's pre-fall 2014 presentation. Shades of red and cerise pink filled the room, while girls slowly ambled down the runway against a somber film projection, while all the while a long row of dead-end telephones failed to ring in the entrance. It all made it seem like we were watching a modern-day teaser for an Italian version of the "Vally of the Dolls".
"The attitude is of real women, who can be happy one day and sad the next. It is all about contrast," Casasola, the guest women's designer at Pitti Uomo, told Now Fashion.
Despite the somber tone of this modernist instillation, the Brazilian-born designer, certainly has not been waiting for the phone to ring.
Casasola has created a media buzz following her recent showings in London and is selling her occasion wear in over 25 countries at well-known stores like Harvey Nichols and Luisa Via Roma here in Florence.
True to her normal style of long, graceful, flowing looks, Casasola showed us once again that a woman can be covered from her neck to her ankles and still appear utterly feminine and sexy and effortlessly glamorous.
The capsule collection entitled "Menswear for Women" included floor-length gowns, jumpers and silk robes lined with wool and a double-breasted suit with cropped palazzo pant legs in ultra-feminine colors like cerise pink and red. Grey also figured prominently among more form-fitting suits and skirts including an ankle-length design, which incorporated double breasted button elements and towering side slits on both legs.
In addition, she crafted her first handbag: a clutch inspired by coin purses of Florence. Fastened with a metal clasp, the bag can be folded in three different ways.
Looks were accompanied by understated velvety flats designed in collaboration with Manolo Blahnik - marking her second project with the legendary shoe designer.
Indeed, Casasola's Florence presentation showed that there is nothing wrong with an understatement.