ISABEL BENENATO Fall 2016

The elegant simplicity of rural clothes came to life in Isabel Benenato’s collection for Fall/Winter 2016. Simply called “Darkwood,” this collection was far from simple. Through the presentation, Benenato combined her natural design instincts with elements sourced from the traditional homespun workwear worn by generations of men in the Japanese countryside from the early 20th century to 1960, as documented by the rare photographic essay, “Yokohama – Shashin.”

“I saw so many parallels to the way I think about fashion in these photographs,” said Benenato. “And as I live in the woods, I appreciate the colours, seasons and daily nuances of nature. This collection revolves around a dark world which fascinates me.”

With her understanding of nature and the “dark world” within, Benenato has produced a collection of rigorous beauty and – again – “simple” shapes.  But there is true impact in simplicity here. Her garments were geometric, lacked distracting exaggeration and made of luxurious fabrics among a palette black, white and dark green with hints of red.

Knitwear was a key look this season, as it appeared as an elongated cardigans and an intricate patchwork mesh, wonderfully interspersed with yak, linen and alpaca. While contrasting leather vests and bags, the strong knits of the season were paired with long band collar shirts, wide cropped trouser and Benenato’s signature elongated wool t-shirts and pants. However, more than anything, this season marvelled at the art of layering luxurious fabrics — a true feat while keeping a look that is simple and yet rugged.

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Photos: Courtesy of Public Image PR (Gio Staiano/NOWFASHION)

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