06/04/2011 - Belluno

Old Fashion

dress with necklaces

Raptus and Rose is the name of a remarkable atelier, more a philosophy than a fashion house. In fact the basic tenet of the concept, ‘everything already exists’, hardly bodes well for a creative dress studio. But delve a little further, and all becomes clear – and captivating.

We are drowning, say R&R, in a sea of beautiful fabrics in gorgeous colourful patterns. Old clothes and textiles, fallen from grace, are precious just because they already exist. They’re begging to be appreciated and re-used, and R&R love to do just that. They rummage in the flea markets of Europe and unearth fabrics and patterns both lovely and unlikely, and give them a second chance. The vintage pieces come together in the workroom cupboards, to be recast in a patchwork of audacious combinations in each new, original dress.

Dresses only (with a few exceptions), of a kind which deserve, in true vintage spirit, to be fondly described as frocks. Needless to say, every creation is unique, a one-off. It has a history and a name, hand-cut and tailor-made or just waiting for the right woman: ‘All we do is arrange the meeting’.

You can order on-line, choosing from a collection of styles or providing a description, and trusting in R&R to hand-craft your own, very personal, bespoke, perfect frock, which they will then fold into an equally unique vintage-fabric bag and post to your door.

But if you simply must see it for yourself, choose your fabrics and combinations, talk about style with the creative mind behind R&R, Silvia Bisconti, and throw in some ravishing vintage accessories while you’re there, the atelier is in Belluno, way up in the north of the Veneto region and a pretty place. Largely defined by a backdrop of craggy Dolomites, it’s a great base for hiking or skiing while you wait for your frock.

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