The London-based, Brazilian designer Karoline Vitto, graduate star of the Fashion East incubator programme, brought Milan fashion week to an emotional finale with her collection - which was a victory for women everywhere.
She was showing as part of Dolce & Gabbana’s “Supported by” project which for the past three seasons has seen the brand spotlight fledgling talent and host their shows in the city. Vitto cast models from sizes 10 to 24 from her London studio, purposely not including any “sample” size models (typically between a 0-4).
Speaking after the show the impassioned designer asserted that “for me it’s very natural. It shouldn’t even be a question of why it’s important, the majority of [women] are not sample size, we should be seen.”
Supermodel Ashley Graham opened the show in a maxi length woven black dress. What followed was a deeper exploration of the jersey and metal pieces which Vitto has made her signature. Jersey dresses sculpted the body, with exposed sections hugged by curved metal hardwear. Liquid silk maxi skirts with draped trains were paired with cut out crop tops, while loose blue jeans, turned up at the bottom, were worn with leopard print bustier bodysuits. A cropped denim jacket was cleverly cut high over the hips to sit neatly over curves. Vitto took a cue from Dolce & Gabbana’s classic lingerie shapes as well as their 1992 collection. The house supported her with archive fabric as well as size-inclusive heels.
Backstage Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana hugged an emotional Vitto telling her that they would always be there to support her.
Milan Fashion Week is notoriously poor at showing a diverse range of body sizes. Editors visibly winced over the week at the exposed jutting hips bones and clavicles. There was an abundance of tiny hot pant shorts, and thigh skirting dresses and skirts, with show press releases professing word salad declarations of inclusivity yet showing anything but.
Graham, who also walked in Saturday’s Dolce & Gabbana told reporters that “this is normal. This is how it should be. You want to talk about diversity? This is diversity. More designers need to be doing this, we need more curves on the runway and we need to have this be normal. If I’m feeling normal on a runway with this many girls, that means that there’s something not normal on other runways.”