In speaking about his new collection, Antonio Tarantini revealed a poetic streak that is also evident in his garments, which have the marvelous feeling of free verse. The clothes he designs under the label ATXV celebrate the human body and retain the hand of the maker.
Because Tarantini drapes directly on a form or a body there’s a physicality to his process. He tells stories through fabric manipulation and by cutting and layering that frames the body in unexpected ways. Take this season’s half body suits, for example, like the black one worn under a long taupe jersey with rolled and twisted details. It’s even more evident from the back, but the difference of weight and color between the materials creates depth as well as flat planes; it’s as if the underlayer finishes the “sentence” begun by the top one.
Throughout his collection, Tarantin created many beautiful synchronicities. There was the relationship of fabrics to each other and to the skin, the latter achieved by layering, cut-outs and transparencies, as well as with nature and history. The starting point of the spring lineup was the designer’s love for the night sky. “One of my passions, one of my favorite things in the world, is to look up at the sky, especially in summer when I am on the beach at night. I’m always looking to the stars because I think there’s so much beauty in the sky, and also because the constellations are just full of history and stories,” said the designer on a call. “I was looking to Andromeda, to Perseus, to all the mythology, and I tried to take a little piece of that beauty and bring it down to earth; to mix all these elements with those in the world we are living in today.”
One of the things today’s world seems to crave is an affirmation of humanness, of the physical state of being. How else to explain the predominance of sculptural and worked elements in the collections? Presented with the vast and uncontrollable power of nature, and the seemingly limitless reach and potential of technology, humans can seem small. In ancient times, myths were a way of organizing the world, of creating a hierarchy, a way of understanding forces that were greater than the people they affected.