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Meet the Milanese designer channelling 90s MTV and Tom Ford-era Gucci

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Valeria Lazzarini and stylist and photographer Jamie-Maree Shipton come together to bring Lazzarini’s sexy, playful, tastefully trashy SS22 collection to life

If someone were to ask you which of the ‘big four’ fashion cities was best known for burgeoning young designers, chances are Milan would come in last place. While the Italian capital is renowned for its bombastic, high-octane shows and OTT, uber-glam aesthetic (think Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, and Blumarine), rising talents are few and far between on each season’s jam-packed schedule. But that’s not to say Milan doesn’t have a healthy roster of ones-to-watch bubbling away beyond the runway. 

Case in point is Valeria Lazzarini, who’s making a name for herself with pitch-perfect, Y2K-indebted collections run through with a brilliant dose of Tom Ford-era Gucci trashiness. This aesthetic makes total sense, given the designer was brought up on MTV. “I used to spent my afternoons, before and after studying, watching shows and music videos endlessly,” she explains. “I couldn’t help but be fascinated by the glamour of R&B and pop culture at that time. And Fashion TV too! The fact I couldn’t afford any of the clothes I was seeing made me think that maybe I could be part of it one day. I was like ‘I can’t wait to grow up to do that!’”

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A new shoot, debuted exclusively on Dazed, documents Lazzarini’s latest collection, bringing it to life on model Margherita, who lolls on the ground in corsage-trimmed halter-tops, uber-mini mini-skirts, kitschy tight baby tees, and pencil skirts with slits cut to the point they practically reveal your knickers. Before things get too sexy, though, there are playful, campy flourishes that come through via giant rosette earrings, a naff AF ‘Milan’ tourist cap, and a monsterish black faux fur coat which makes Margherita appear twice her size. Styling and photography comes by way of Jamie-Maree Shipton, who’s renowned within the industry for championing fledgling brands and injecting anything she works on with a shot of subversion – there’s always something brilliantly ‘off’ about anything Shipton touches. 

The two met as many creative people do in the year of our lord, 2022, via Instagram, before bumping into each other IRL at a Milan show around 2019. From the outset, there was a mutual appreciation for each other’s work. “I love how fully I see Valeria in her collections,” says Shipton. “She’s such a playful, sexy, strong female, and the clothes really reflect that. They’re all about the female from and being comfortable in your own skin – and showing it!” Conspiring to work on a shoot as soon as COVID restrictions would allow, the editorial forms part of Shipton’s ‘postcard editorials’, which see the creative use local talent to create a kind of editorial snapshot. “This one was about bringing Milanese talents to the forefront in a playful way,” she adds. 

Check out the editorial in the gallery above.

Credits: Model Margherita at Monster Management, make-up Sean Brady, photography/styling Jamie-Maree Shipton