Di Liborio SS17
- Photography Max Barnett
- Styling Patricia Villirillo
- Set Design Hatty Ellis-Coward
- Words Anna Sanders
Men with eyeliner flicks and dark, smudged lids wear dishevelled shirts over bare legs, tops cut low, and blouses in soft, undone sheers: familiar female tropes of sexuality that feel languid and other-worldly within Di Liborio’s avant-garde menswear aesthetic.
The Spring/Summer 17 show blurred boundaries between gender and age through neutral, deconstructed looks; the nuances of masculinity celebrated in diverse casting. “I like the word ‘celebrating'” remarked Liborio Capizzi “I’m not celebrating an ideal man – but all men, regardless of their age and physical build. I celebrate people, and above all friends: the stars of my first menswear fashion show. It was interesting to see how a seventeen-year old and a sixty-year-old wear the same garment made with different materials. The same garment takes on a different shape and weight, and is worn differently by different people, exalting the individual’s personality and attitude.”
Ultra-light silk organza, cotton voile, mercerized yarn, washed silk, and pashmina wool are delicately draped, interwoven, and hand embroidered: materials chosen for their sensitivity, their response to touch; creating garments with “a lived-in look, a past history, and timeless character.” What begins as a classic range of cardigans, tailored blazers and trousers, becomes elegantly undone and romantic through the fold of fabric, the fraying of a hem.
“I’ve been able to travel all over the world to find sources of inspiration”, Di Liborio explains of his nomadic, eclectic offerings, “the New York of Martin Scorsese in the first half of the Seventies; the punk movement and its icons, from the Ramones to the New York Dolls and Debby Harry of Blondie; and my current muse and friend, Skin of Skunk Anansie. And through all of this I feel the indelible, continuous and unforgettable presence of the memory of my mentor and great master of style and elegance, Gianfranco Ferre.”
Di Liborio collaborated with Gianfranco Ferrè for sixteen years; often referred to as ‘the architect of fashion’, his oeuvre was of asymmetric cuts, precision in stiff fabrics, and the evolution of the shirt, a conceit also found within Di Libori’s eponymous label, and in his considered appreciate for the narrative of the humble item yet in fluid, diaphanous realisation. “He gave me a strong sense of duty and sacrifice, and allowed me to refine and amplify my ability, giving free expression to my own personal code of creativity. For this I will be forever grateful to him.”
Di Liborio’s background too was in an art that lends itself to his method of design, and it was whilst studying scenography and later costume design in Italy that his interest in fashion began to take shape. Di Liborio recounts his time training with the maestro of Domus Academy as “an intense period that led to the more mature and intimate desire to express my own project, called simply ‘diliborio'”. His project was to be: “a contemporary image of fashion, the eternal return of changing shapes that is a never-ending cycle. It is a voyage in my memory of rock and its icons, of fashion and its radical choices”
The result is the collections we have today: deeply personal, and with the indelible mark of his mentor found in meticulous details, in the precision of craftsmanship. A ripple of dissonance runs through couture elements, rock and its icons tamed in considered design, through a finely tuned sensitivity toward the architecture of clothes.