The designer Francesca Piccini has opened her new showroom in Shanghai with her proposals for a total look for women. All in the best possible taste and featuring exquisite details

by Valentina Ceriani

The last time we saw her was in 2013: young, beautiful and dreaming of becoming a designer. At the time Francesca Piccini was unveiling her second collection: it was a runaway success. We met her again in 2016. Many things have changed in a few short years; apart from her beauty, which is unaltered (at 25 years of age, it could not be otherwise), and the light in her eyes that reveals the young woman’s passion for what she does. Francesca was on cloud nine when she opened the doors to her Showroom in Milan for us – yes, her own. The garments of her sixth collection infuse space with spirit and trace Francesca Piccini’s creative evolution. “From the beginning I wanted to create a total look for women. These days my garments range from daytime wear, with some ideas branching into casual and leisure wear such as trainers and tracksuits, but always with strong and decisive appeal.”

Everything Francesca Piccini touches turns to gold, and so she is now opening her showroom to brides, too. “I try to understand what they have in mind and how they see themselves and then I sketch some designs for them. When they choose the one that is most compatible with their taste, I get the ball rolling with a first-rate seamstress here in Milan.” The elegance of the details does not go unnoticed and they imply an artist’s hand, and Francesca Piccini’s skill lies in the mastery with which she doses audacity and great refinement. Her profound aesthetic sense is truly Italian and permeates the ranges of handbags and shoes, both formal and casual. “Every collection has a theme, a focal point that I try to weave into the accessories, too.” A penchant for not clashing, yet standing out; where every combination occurs in whispered elegance. “For example, next winter’s collection is called Revolution, because I am trying to introduce changes into my brand, broadening my collection with some products at more affordable prices so as to attract a younger clientele. So I have sought out solutions that allow me, for instance, to offer an embroidered evening gown, entirely made in Italy, as are all my products, with perfect, well-designed silhouettes, but perhaps using mixed fabrics instead of pure silk.” It is a turnaround, a breakthrough for Francesca, who has earned herself a front-row position in the Olympus of fashion. Her talent for self-examination, and for observing the changing world and the evolution of style have set her on a new path. Hence, while at first ‘her’ woman wore very classic and formal, elegant clothes, now she is approaching “what I am”.

Francesca Piccini wearing a dress created especially for the opening of her second shop in China, which took place on 3 May 2016 in The Portman Ritz-Carlton in Shanghai

The Italian designer already has a showroom in Shenyang:

“China is starting to bring me enormous satisfaction,” says

A more youthful look, sometimes femme fatale, sometimes a woman aware of her elegance who also leans towards a more sporty style, but without ever compromising her femininity. Her hand turns an idea into reality by setting it down on paper, the drawing is then passed to the workshop where “we do test fittings aimed at removing defects. I love doing the fittings, and seeing for myself how the gowns drape the ladies’ bodies.” The first fitting never achieves perfection, but eventually something unique is always found. Because the inspiration is unique; such as, for example, that Kaos that gave rise to the 2016 spring/summer collection: colours mingle together, they dance and meet, original nuances exalt cuts and lines which are innovative and at the same time infused with timeless classicism. Blazers, tailleurs, evening gowns, cocktail dresses, skirts, pants and blouses all make up the broadened offer, and the wardrobes of Francesca Piccini’s women reveal a desire to dare. Here a garment hugs the outline of the body, there another envelops it voluminously: “I realise, though, that sometimes I am a little obsessed with making dresses for Mediterranean women who are curvy, and this can penalize less shapely women.” In saying this, she is looking to the Orient: “China is starting to bring me enormous satisfaction,” says Francesca opened on 3 May her second shop in Shanghai, in The Portman Ritz-Carlton. Her first shop is in the north of the country in Shenyang. “China arrived thanks to Stefano Ricci, the brand that has always been at my side, both morally and also providing me with advice and support.” And so, after Italy and Russia, the talented young Italian has also seduced China. What will her next conquest be?