Sometimes in fashion weird things happen—part magical, part spooky. The very same ideas and inspirations travel unpredictably in the ether from designer to designer, and, unbeknownst to them, get teleported and pop out in their fashion shows. This was the case at today’s SUNNEI show, which shared the idea of twins with no less than Alessandro Michele, whose Gucci show was staged just hours before with a similar casting of twin models.
“We’ve been working on our concept for months on end, and getting the twin casting right was quite the nightmare,” said Simone Rizzo with a hint of despair in his voice. “Our concepts are clearly different, but still…” chimed in Loris Messina. “What can you do? But it’s okay. You just keep marching on.”
There’s always a social commentary in SUNNEI’s practice, and this season their show, “which actually was more of a performative act,” they said, was about how the fashion system can alter the perception of identity, distorting the sense of self into multiple, often illusory and fractured representations. The rather high-falutin and abstruse concept seemed impossible to be rendered in fashion show form, but the SUNNEIs have the stubbornness of conviction, and were unfazed by the challenge.
Their Palazzina SUNNEI was transformed into a white box, a sort of daunting operating room. Guests were asked to wear surgical protective overshoes. At the end of the catwalk, a revolving door opened into mysterious nothingness. That’s when the identical twins situation took action. Sitting among the audience, one of the twins, dressed in their own clothes, walked through the revolving door, while the other twin emerged from the opposite rotating side dressed to the nines in SUNNEI’s spring collection, with full-on makeup and the appropriate coiffure.
“It’s a metaphor of how fashion can act as a transformative force, which is as magical as it is utterly crazy,” the designers explained after the engaging yet rather puzzling show. As for the collection, it was quintessentially SUNNEI, with plenty of utilitarian pieces cut with clarity of purpose and a playful, sunny side. “It doesn’t need many explanations,” they said. “We just update it season after season like a software.”