UniCredit S.p.A. Partners Contacts My Pitti
RESEARCH AREA spring/summer 2022
Edition 88
curated by Angelo Figus and Nicola Miller
That which occurred over the last few months has profoundly changed us.
The effects of the lockdown will not be short-lived, and deep reflections will condition our actions and our way of living over the next few years. History has simply accelerated a process of change already underway, which today becomes reality. We have experienced smart working, the invasion of private space – made public – an obsession with hygiene, and isolation that is also overexposure. We have been rewarded or penalized in our ability to access gardens, parks, or the countryside. Priorities have been overturned. To change us.  
In the first theme, we will discover nature as a new, yet ancient, criteria of well-being, harmony, happiness, and equilibrium. From the surfaces of objects to occupied spaces, shared both inside and outside the home, our need to breathe and socialize will transform our home into a garden, while cities – and especially squares – will become wild and free places where it is possible to socialize, go to school, and work. Outdoors. The distance between people will turn into a new kind of closeness in healthy and lush places, and will become contact between people, with nature and in nature, while tearing down some of the barriers erected along with some of the rules created for crowded areas. Nature will be a guarantor of the equilibrium that has been called into question by the new existential dilemma: remaining physically close and staying socially distant for our own health and well-being. The concept of distancing will lead the way; with the shortening of the distance between nature and civilization, and the distance we maintain for our own health. 
This theme addresses Nature and her ability to insinuate herself benevolently into the various urban fabrics we build, and to modify and soften our surfaces and bring them more into line with our human tactility.

Reflections of this almost osmotic process can be seen in the fine and medium weight yarns we call basics, as it alters their typical characteristics and creates alternatives to their classicism while not interfering with research into consolidation of the requirements for sustainability. Natural colorants temper crinkly linens, transparent starch-film coatings reinforce slippery viscosas, recycled nylon or polyester fiber inclusions leaven compositions in cottons, wools and silks.

In this interchange between Nature and man-made materials, even the industrial and hand finishing processes transform the usual characteristics of yarns. Whitewashing spongy wool or cotton yarns creates marked chiaroscuro tonal effects; showerings of miniscule flock flecks on shiny viscosas lend dusty effects to the threads, selective mercerization of slubbed cottons results in sanded-down looks and tactile contrasts within single yarns.
During the lockdown, global sportswear and leisurewear firms saw their revenue grow, demonstrating just how important the concepts of comfort and exercise are even in circumstances of great stagnation. The public and private dimension meet up in a new expression of the self. Informality and uninhibition will be the new stylistic calling cards, the concept of ‘above the table’ dress in the outfit becomes very important. This is an experimental and unexpected theme. It plays around with nudity, with the private ‘beneath the table’ dress and with the more elaborate and refined ‘above the table’. The emphasis is on the upper part of the body. The informality of the domestic lifestyle becomes social and something to be shown off. Our homes open up like museums, with our wardrobes becoming public domain, and our homewear is clearly put on show through video conference calls. Domestic motifs of dishcloths, sofas, and checkered and floral canvas become the new elegance. 
Our “bottom half” garments will be made of simple fibers such as cotton, modal, linen, polyester and polyamide. Then, drawing inspiration from the properties of household objects or the body’s tactility, these yarns will transform and acquire depth until becoming protagonists even in the precious knits that will dress the all-important upper half of the silhouette.

Cotton is treated with an enamel finish, likening it to porcelain: ultra-smooth to the touch, chased with glassy color.
Modal interprets the softness of human skin in caressingly rounded structures, in finely-shaded colors.
Linen boasts a satin-finish vinyl surface that transforms it into an extra-malleable yarn that can be shaped by plissé and sculptural stitches.
Polyester threads shrink to become gleaming gossamer filaments that recall splendidly brushed hair.
Polyamide shifts into transparency, becoming reflective and able to transmit infinite color refractions.

Transparency is fundamental to this theme. It appears both in mesh that looks like tulle, constructed of ultra-fine, semi-rigid synthetic yarns, and in delicate gauzes created from natural yarns like wool crêpe or cotton voile.

Just as essential are the fine stretch viscose yarns used to build body-hugging knitwear, almost as though to replace the body’s natural sheath, its skin. Shiny or matte, soft, powdery, granular, slightly furry, porous, mottled, flecked – in representation of every variety of human skin.
We are made for looking, touching, and feeling. The world is not a sterile container, but a splendid terrain for playing and experimentation. In the coming season, the psychosis of isolation, distancing, and sanitizing the hands takes on more relaxed tones and more joyful and playful expressions. In particular, the obsession with cleaning, detergents, and disinfectants, will have a more colorful and experimental expression. The colors of detersives, bottles, surfaces, and sponges will become new knit surfaces that play around with an extremely positive and optimistic, and colorful and youthful, streetwear. Everything is new and optimistic in this theme, just like the high expectations generated by opening a brand-new item just bought in the store, which is about to be put on for the first time. In this theme, nothing will be pre-loved, pre-used, pre…
Brand New, the transparent bag itself will be an integrated part of the garment, resulting bright and shiny, while vacuum packaging and pressed paddings come to life when the bag is opened. A light, yet extremely relevant, fashion. 
In this theme, synthetic fibers dominate even when they are blended with naturals to give a technical slant to the compositions and a greatly contemporary look to the surfaces.

These polyamide and polyester threads are interpreted in various ways to offer different tactile effects.
The viscosity and fluidity of liquid soaps inspire the slippery, watery feels of linear, extremely fine, variously-colored yarns.
Also very fine, the twisted constructions that create transparent gauzes to be used in layers, copying the gathered nets used for personal hygiene. 
Slubbed tencel yarns revive the buttery texture of cleansing creams and lend themselves to forming soft, undulating pleats in the knit.  
The variously-constructed bouclé yarns are open-structured and fine, tending to the extremely light, the impalpable, imitating the airy effect of soap bubbles.
The elasticized yarns are worked in dimpled micro-stitches. Uniting several lengths worked in the same stitch creates a thick but lightweight knit with the look of a technical spacer fabric.
Smooth, semi-glossy tubular knits puff up to become as voluminous as the rounded forms of detergent bottles.