For SS18, Nicola Bacchilega continues to deliver a form of escapism in fashion, satisfying our yearning for the unconventional. Conceptualizing ‘Ad maiora’, the Latin adaption of ‘towards greater things’, Bacchilega proves the pertinence of this proverb by centering the 70s, an era symbolic of transgression, as a source of inspiration for the collection. Nostalgia and introspection are at the helm of Bacchilega’s creative thought process, from referencing his hometown of Faenza, Italy, to his childhood dreams and the significance of marine life. Silk’s innate opulence and fluidity lends itself well to channeling Bacchilega’s aquatic color palette. Slits and cutouts in geometric shapes are rhythmically carved into several pieces, in washes of pink, red, blue and green. However, the collection’s use of gold is possibly the most majestic part of the colour spectrum. Bacchilega divulges that his fictional muse is “The Golden Overwoman”; a reinterpretation of the term ‘Übermensch’, which translates from German to ‘Overman’, and refers to philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s conception of a man who surpasses the conventional human behaviour and strives for values of emancipation. Paramount to the collection are the elements of golden ceramics, all of which is molded and glazed in Faenza, Italy, a city noted for its ceramic. From the gold chains used as accents; crossing over exposed backs and incorporated in buckles, the presence is apparent; “gold reflects light, which represents the sun and is the origin of divinization”, explains Nicola. The asymmetrical jumpsuits and tailored tracksuits, equipped with an armored sleeve, are emblematic of how Bacchilega is able to seamlessly merge two distinct periods of time- Romanesque and the 1970s, and deliver a contemporary collection, swathed in silk chenille.The collection is divided into several themes that manage to tie together, due to Bacchilega’s versatility as a designer with a formative background in sculpture. The wearable ‘Golden Ceramic Sculpture’ is emblematic of Bacchilega’s proclivity for decoration and detail, and it would seem that the process of creating golden warriorlike armor is as strenuous as designing a seasonal collection; “in order to get a metal effect, the ceramic is fired three times; the first fire is called “biscotto”, the second fire is a white glaze called “majolica”, and the third fire is pure gold and applied with brush in liquid form”, narrates Nicola. It is Nicola Bacchilega’s almost surrealistic extravagance that will establish his SS18 collection as an opus. From an elaborate orchid silhouette to the wicker-like teal dress, Bacchilega’s use of gold, dreamy silks, vivid colours and fluid tailoring, combined with a strength in cultural referencing, continue to establish the brand within the realms of contemporary fashion.
Written by Nahuel Contreras