Thursday, February 12, 2009
Stealth Brands: Krizia
The sun's out, the daffodils are stemming, and despite the chilly air, spring is edging in. One of the first things I'll put on as soon as it's warm enough to bare arms is this silk top from Krizia.
I found it for less than ten pounds in an upscale charity shop/thrift store. Silk chiffon with beautiful edging, a cream silk lining, graceful design: all hallmarks of a beautifully made garment (click on the pic for a look at details). It was undervalued by the shop because the name isn't as well known as its compatriots Prada, Gucci, and Armani.
Krizia was founded in 1954 by former schoolteacher Mariuccia Mandelli. If its clothing is rarely as spectacular as the better-known Milanese designers, it is a highly respected brand in Italy, and is one of the few remaining independent designers. Perhaps best known for its often riotous knitwear, it has also produced lines of mens and childrens clothing, perfume, bags, and houseware.
Anyone who follows the fashion industry knows that designers jump from house to house in order to gain experience and credibility and a solid platform for their talents. In 1999, Krizia hired a the Israeli designer Alber Elbaz as a consultant. He left a year later, and today is the genius behind Lanvin's relaunch as a megabrand.
Did he have a hand in the design of my top? It's impossible to say. And frankly, I like it so much on its own merits it doesn't matter.
If you love to hunt for great secondhand finds, it helps to know your fashion history. It's even better to know quality when you find it.