Rafael CennamoLet’s see.  Rafael Cennamo is Italian and Venezuelan.  But his collection keeps an eye eastward, toward Japan.  Truth is, this is one of those collections where you can clearly see the inspiration come to life.

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The dark, almost anime-eyes on the models was one clue.  But the complex, origami-style draping on many of the looks left no doubt.  A voluminous white gown with folds over folds over folds was an absolute wonder to behold.  A grey satin kimono, embellished with pink flowers was beyond stunning.

Rafael CennamoRafael CennamoRafael CennamoRafael Cennamo There were softer patterns on some cocktail dresses, but this collection really lives and dies by its embellishments, flowers, straps, beads, you name it.  Sometimes they’re there to enhance, other times, to cover up bits you’d probably want to cover up as you’re strutting down the red carpet, or into a fancy dinner.

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The work that went into this collection is as intense as its structure, and you could see the structure in every single piece.  In some pieces, it was curvy and feminine, in others it was straight-up architectural.

Rafael CennamoRafael CennamoRafael CennamoRafael Cennamo The colors were all soft pastels, in blues, grays, pinks and greens, and the geisha influence was never far away in dresses of all lengths and purposes.  Only Cennamo’s kimonos were tied with hard, silver ring belts.

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They aren’t all the easiest pieces to wear, I’ll give you that.  But for sheer creativity of design, Cennamo is a master.  And, he’s developing a bit of a celebrity following, so we know we’ll see his looks for a long, long time.

Photography: Anton Brookes

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