Skin: although we all have it, there is a disturbing, Hannibal Lecter-esque quality that pervades it. For those who relish in the experimental and unorthodox like Claudia Danna, it becomes a source of endless inspiration. Specializing in embroidery, the designer applies the traditional “Made in Italy” approach to not the ordinary array of fabrics and garments. Featured in Vogue UK, Danna also recently opened for Fashion Philosophy: Poland Fashion Week this past October.
Danna’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection was fascinatingly outré. The engineered fabrics were the obvious highlight of the collection. Garments labeled “Skin” were formulated from a thick, flesh-hued micromesh, while others called “Cocoon” were printed with rubber scales, bearing an uncanny resemblance to epidemial cells. Acting as the barrier between the body and its environment, the skin essentially is an organic armor. Captivated, Danna translated the properties of skin — comfort, strength and protection into garment fabrication flawlessly in her oversized waistcoat.
But like any other type of armor which gets tarnished and worn with use, it must be replaced. The process of molting, of shedding the old to expose the new, was stressed in the cuts of the garments. Side-splits and cut sleeves revealed the layers underneath, while still expressing the decay of the exuviae. As for the shapes, they were decidedly more feminine than initially presumed, considering the macabre nature of the collection. Baby mock necks and ‘60s shift dresses in solid prints were surprisingly twee and modish. In any other form, the unusual fabrics would have just been too daunting and alien. But it was the simple silhouettes paired with those same materials that made Danna’s collection so gravitating.