For SS18, Nicola Bacchilega continues to deliver a form of escapism in fashion, satisfying our yearning for the unconventional.

Conceptualising ‘Ad maiora’, the Latin adaption of ‘towards greater things’, Bacchilega proves the pertinence of this proverb by centring the 70’a, an era symbolic of transgression, as a source of inspiration for the collection. Nostalgia and introspection are at the helm of Bacchilega’s creative thought process, from referencing his hometown of Faenza, Italy, to his childhood dreams and the significance of marine life. Silk’s innate opulence and fluidity lends itself well to channeling Bacchilega’s aquatic colour palette. Slits and cutouts in geometric shapes are rhythmically carved into several pieces, in washes of pink, red, blue and green. However, the collection’s use of gold is possibly the most majestic part of the colour spectrum.

Bacchilega divulges that his fictional muse is “The Golden Overwoman,” a reinterpretation of the term ‘Übermensch,’ which translate from German to ‘Overman,’ and refers to philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s conception of a man who surpasses the conventional human behaviour and strives for values of emancipation. Paramount to the collection are the elements of golden ceramics, all of which are moulded and glazed in Faenza, Italy, a city noted for its ceramic. From the gold chains used as accents; crossing over exposed backs and incorporated in buckles, the presence is apparent; “gold reflects light, which represents the sun and is the origin of divination,” explains Bacchilega. The asymmetrical jumpsuits and tailored tracksuits, equipped with armoured sleeves, portray just how Bacchilega is able to seamlessly merge two distinct periods of time, Romanesque and the 1970’s, to deliver a contemporary collection.

Bacchilega is a versatile designer whose formative background in sculpture is highly evident in his work. The wearable ‘Golden Ceramic Sculpture’ is emblematic of Bacchilega’s proclivity for decoration and detail, and it would seem that the process of creating golden warrior-like armour is as strenuous as designing a seasonal collection; “in order to get a metal effect, the ceramic is fired three times; the first fire is called “biscotto”, the second fire is a white glaze called “majolica”, and the third fire is pure gold and applied with a brush in liquid form,” narrates Bacchilega.

It is Nicola Bacchilega’s surreal extravagance that will establish his SS18 collection as an opus. From an elaborate orchid silhouette to a wicker-like teal dress, Bacchilega’s use of gold, dreamy silks, vivid colour and fluid tailoring, combined with a strength in cultural referencing, continue to establish the brand within the realms of contemporary fashion.

Text by Nahuel Contreras