This Nehera collection was inspired by three historical figures who envisioned and embodied a point of view beyond the mores of their respective times. The first was Elisabetta Gonzaga, the Mantuan noblewoman patroness of the Renaissance; the second was couturier and Klimt muse Emilie Louise Flöge; and the third was pre-Surrealist painter Giorgio de Chirico. As Ladislav Zdut said down a Zoom, each character provided signposts, “evidence of our breaking our own conventions and boundaries,” in a collection that did indeed push his brand’s envelope, albeit gently.
Starting with the prints—for the second season produced in partnership with Juraj Straka—there was a fetching homage to the disembodied architecture of De Chirico on a down coat, padded clutch, and split-paneled skirt. The rippling and shimmering representations of Flöge were mirrored in double-layered gridded prints, opaque organza over non-opaque, that created the illusion of animation with movement on turtleneck dresses and skirts. As for Gonzaga, her presence was less visually literal—a portrait attributed to Raphael is one of the few records of her appearance—and more an embodiment of female self-authorship in a male-dominated milieu. This was further expressed through dinky twists to the strictures of tailoring, Nehera’s baseline specialism. Jackets were reframed through the removal of lapels and insertion of vertical side pockets, or the addition of an asymmetrically peaked lapel over a 1.5-breasted closure and folded satin back panel.
Silhouettes were refashioned through the placing of wool or cashmere knitwear over tailoring, or skirts over pants. Crushed velvet in silver and gold was used to fashion soft suiting, dresses, and skirts, both gilded and powerful. A further shot of color in a typically neutral collection for the brand came via a burst of flamingo pink on a matte trench, smock dress, and babushka scarf.
Focused and, within the context of Nehera’s positioning, experimental (as is the brand’s effort to source a non-synthetic vegetarian leather alternative for its accessories), this was a collection in which the impression of difference was accentuated by its place in the familiar.