Arthur Arbesser is a relative newcomer but in the short time he’s been active in the Milan womenswear scene, he’s already nabbed a finalist spot in the prestigious LVMH Prize for Young Designers. So while I wasn’t surprised by the high quality of his Spring Summer collection, I was taken aback by the style and influences running throughout his girly creations. Compared to the avant garde looks of his LVMH-shortlisted collection, these pieces are decidedly more casual, and packs a youthful allure that makes the viewer, i.e. me, feel creepy and voyeuristic. Perhaps it has something to do with the barely legal looks of some of the models? Or perhaps it’s the floral and kitty prints, the schoolgirl hair clips, and the fact that the only footwear in the collection are gym sneakers and lady-like pumps, which made me think of my teenage years playing dress up in my mom’s closet, trying to look taller and more lady-like in her heels. Yes, this collection definitely made me think of that Britney hit “Not a girl, not yet a woman”, as the looks seem very much inspired by those inbetween years when girls can’t wait to grow up but still retain an undeniable innocence. It certainly makes for a memorable collection—that cat-printed suit is all mine—but no comment on the problematic fetishization of this virginal ideal.
Images via Vogue.com