If you like badass prints as much as we do, you always run the risk of falling into an unconscious color stupor. Here to ensure that doesn’t happen is the Sicilian-born, Rome-based designer Marco de Vincenzo, who has well-honed advice on taming crazypants prints and pulling off a fashion rainbow.
JJ: I’ve been Technicolor since I was about five years old. Where did your obsession come from?
MdV: It’s derived from what I call the “Sicilian Trash Aesthetic.” In the summer and during religious celebrations, Sicily explodes with color. When I was young, my parents would bring me to these festivals and I wouldn’t know where to look because everything was so beautiful and full of color. Now, when I design, I can never just dye a fabric just one color, I always mix many together!
JJ: Thankfully, your clothes never look very trashy.
MdV: That’s because I am very rigorous in the choice of shapes, symmetry and fabrics. So for example, if I work with flowers, I might use an exaggerated palette, but the shapes of the flowers would be very simple and geometric.
JJ: What do you think of minimal dressers?
MdV: When I see women that are wearing clothes in a very minimal way, I always think, “Why are you not exaggerating?” I think fashion was invented just for women because they have more creativity, capacity and interest in showing off their style. So they should do it!
NAILING THE TRIPLE-LINDY OF COLOR COMBINATIONS: THE BIG FAT RAINBOW
JJ: Marco, you love a rainbow and so do we. The big question on everyone’s mind is: how to wear one and not look like you’re seven years old?
MdV: My rainbows are never literal. They are more graphic. This season I did vertical stripes on knitwear. It also helps to have clean, sleek silhouettes that are also very slim. Don’t create volume with your rainbows.
JJ: Right. Otherwise you look like a giant gay flag—which is fine to hang on the wall, but maybe not to wear. Are you a fan of mixing prints together?
MdV: You can absolutely mix hearts, circles, triangles and other shapes all in one outfit. I hate when a person wears something bold and then decides to pair it with black trousers. Boldness is what makes someone stand out. Like you—you choose a colorful top, then a printed skirt, then a pair of shoes…
JJ: Yeah, but I exaggerate a bit sometimes, don’t you think?
MdV: No! That’s what I do too, and I think you’re doing it in the right way. It’s about creating harmony between things. Only a small group of people can actually do this well, women who have taste.
HOW A REGULAR WORKING GIRL CAN PULL OFF A RAINBOW
JJ: Let’s break it down: What’s the easiest way to pull off a rainbow?
MdV: Most women can wear a rainbow just by wearing a black coat over their stripes. Also, my fall-winter knitted rainbow dresses are like long T-shirts. They occupy zero space in your luggage. You buy this simple little thing and you suddenly have a powerful look without the need of adding anything else.
JJ: Can a working woman show up to the office flashing one?
MdV: I am completely aware of the fact that you really can’t go crazy and dress up eccentrically if you’re a teacher at a high school, or a doctor, or a lawyer. But I do believe a lawyer can and should wear the rainbow sunglasses to work and the rainbow sweater under her navy or black suit at the courthouse.
JJ: Excellent suggestion! I also like the idea of a judge secretly sporting a rainbow under her robe.
MdV: Many women carry clothing, like high heels, with them in their bag. A judge could carry a rainbow shirt in her bag, so that she can change into it for an aperitivo, or a night out.
MARCO PICKS OUT HIS FAVORITE LADOUBLEJ VINTAGE RAINBOWS
JJ: We have a lot of rainbow-esque vintage pieces at LaDoubleJ. Would you please pick out your favorites, the ones that you feel go best with your rainbow aesthetic.
MdV: Sure! [they are all shown below!] My clothes and these LaDoubleJ pieces are for a girl who is eccentric, young, powerful and has the guts to wear something different and to make a statement.
JJ: Yeah, we don’t mess around. These pieces all knocked us over the head with love.
MdV: I firmly believe in love at first sight, and that colors are a therapy. They give you power!
JJ: Amen to that, BABE.