“She’s an explorer,” said Carolina Cucinelli, the brand’s co-creative director, at a preview, referring to the attitude she and her team wanted the spring collection to be infused with. More than a literal translation of the traveling theme, it was about “exploring” a softening of the Cucinelli codes, adding a touch of fluidity, sensuality and more spontaneous styling combinations.
The Cucinelli ethos is all about equilibrium and balance, and this new ‘exploration’ was played out subtly. The softly casual masculine suit which is the foundation of the brand’s style was rendered in even more malleable versions, and given decorative treatment with lush embroideries, appliqués and abundant sequined and lamé surfaces.
On this note, a loose, slouchy pajama set was offered in luscious satin in a buttery hue, and came generously embroidered with abstract crystal florals, while a cream-colored midriff-baring cropped top with matching tight-fitted pencil skirt was hand-knitted in a sequined yarn and worn under a softly tailored linen blazer. “High-end craftsmanship is one of our main focuses, and we support it every way we can; we’ve even founded a school to keep the savoir faire alive and taught to a young generation of artisans,” said Carolina. She pointed out a series of tops, jumpers and tunics, intricately crocheted or hand knitted in a variety of open-work patterns; she called them “couture-like knits, as they’re kind of unique pieces, collectible like artworks.” They come with a hefty price tag, but she was adamant that “we aren’t keen on compromising on quality.”
Overlooking the showroom scene, Brunello Cucinelli was clearly proud of his daughters’ involvement in the company (his other daughter, Camilla, works within the women’s design studio). Asked about how and if his role has changed now that the baton is in younger hands, he demurred: “I don’t come from the financial world, I come ‘from the product,’ as they say, I love being involved in creating the collections and the team work,” he offered. Everything has still to pass muster with his rigorous standard-checking. “I am the custodian of the Cucinelli style, and now I can truly enjoy the role of creative director, as the company is structured on strong pillars,” he continued. “The brand has to evolve according to the times, but it has to remain rooted in its principles. We have to stay true to ourselves.” It sounded like he’s still very much at the company’s helm—no matter the teamwork.