ISAIA AW2017/18 San Leucio Collection
Isaia AW2017/18 pays homage to the luxe silk factories and textiles of San Leucio. Famous for its rich traditions of craftsmanship, innovation in design, and utopian society, San Leucio is a direct reflection of ISAIA’s culture. This shared ethos sets the stage for AW2017/18. Drawing upon historical references, ISAIA reinterprets the innovative spirit and forward thinking of San Leucio in a contemporary way this season.
Located in the hillside near the magnificent Reggia di Caserta, (pride of the Kingdom of Napoli between the 18th and 19th centuries), San Leucio is known for its long tradition of craftsmanship; providing the finest silks in the world to foreign elites, including Buckingham Palace and The White House. The physical presence and spirit of San Leucio is diversified and full of contrasts and energy, however, it culminates with a harmonious form, brought together in a common language through a mosaic of ideas.
This is most famously seen through the development of the “Reale Colonia deiSetaioli”, (or Silk Weavers Royal Colony) at San Leucio, which gave privilege and prestige to the vocation of textile artisanship and created a unique utopian society. This newly created colony was designed with great foresight by Ferdinand IV of Bourbon in the late 18th century, and widely desired by those looking to overtake the Kingdom.
These diverse and unexpected ideas are also seen at the heart and soul of ISAIA’s AW2017/18 collection. Naturally, various distinctive elements are transformed in Isaia’s creative voice through a decidedly experimental approach in clothing, combining its interplay of materials, colors and patterns. But through the design innovation and creative process always remains the sartorial bedrock of Neapolitan tailoring. This shared history of skilled artisans and diverse juxtaposed ideas, is inherent in ISAIA’s organization today.
The true craftsmen and artisans of Napoli and Caserta still produce some of the most luxe items in the world, while still embracing forward thinking. San Leucio was known for being the most technologically advanced textile factory in Europe at the time of its height, while ISAIA echoes this idea of craftsmanship and modernity, combining the best in technology with the sartorial tradition of tailoring to produce the world’s finest clothing.
The design symbol of this season is the argyle pattern or diamond motif which becomes a profoundly Neapolitan and an exquisitely personal theme for Isaia. The pathways connecting the utopian workers’ colony at San Leucio to the grand Belvedere palazzo, artistic gardens and landscape design, are paved with this symbol. ISAIA pays homage to this symbol by including it on their famous seasonal meltons in each color story. Emerging through a textured intertwining scheme of shape and color, this season presents a decidedly utilitarian take, highlighted through a range of Mediterranean earth tones blended with a warm palette. Dominated by various shades of red, from chestnut to rust, and deep blues, greens and rich violets, the color story gives a feeling of richness and sophistication. This dynamic is also expressed in scarves and silk jacquard with tie prints that become schematic with distinct lines that create abstract reflections of backgrounds in different colors.
To further play upon a luxe utilitarian approach, this season also finds woven wools taking center stage and materializing in; bouclés, bomby wools, and Saxony fabrics. Combining a crisp, masculine feel deriving from the practical sporty outdoors enters a dimension of strictly urban modernity through new weights, thicknesses and textures, creating super luxe wearable garments for the contemporary gentleman.
Isaia specifically chose the design and fabrics in this collection as a tribute to the unsurpassed local artisan culture and textile production of outstanding quality, clearly aspiring to the international supremacy of the silk from the royal textile workshop of San Leucio. This magnificent, glorious, timeless story shares many affinities with Isaia’s own progressive path, not only due to a common desire to achieve the best in terms of continuous improvement and ongoing technical and creative experimentation, but also in terms of civic commitment and positive social impact in a landscape that is sometimes considered difficult and problematic.