words: Silvia Bombardini
A sandy summer beach, sun bleached, sun screened, sun burnt: that is the inspiration for and the set of steventai’s new season. Picture Massimo Vitali’s motionless panoramas of populous Italian shorelines, but quivering with the genuine excitement of foreigners when they first set foot on the beach. The collection has all the colours of the summer, in primary hues, the yellow of Mediterranean suns in the drawings of children, and tiny embroidered characters diving deep into a pocket or surfing along its seam.
Marinière stripes printed by hand in steventai’s own silk screen studio, run along most outfits, in classic white-and-blue and other colours too, fading gradually here and there as if succumbing to the sun rays and salt. Sailors’ stripes and Sailor Moon’s ribbons, whose clumsiness the steventai girl surely recognises in herself – but this time she has the buoyancy of the tourist too.
Wave-like collars and two-tone trousers made for stepping in shallow waters are followed by a series of signature geeky details: fanny packs that can hold water bottles, and buckled life vests, but in micro-pleated, lightweight suiting wool or sheer silk organza. Life buoys, inspire puffy volumes, a sense of nostalgia and safety. But don’t think of these as garments made for the beach – it’s a rainy British September, and we all could use more clothing that swish with the sound of seagulls.
photographer Kin Chan