Gaetano Navarra: The Inventive Fashion Recluse

Half naked women dashing down the catwalk is not something unusual to see during fashion shows around the world. However, completely exposed breasts may turn a few more heads. Gaetano Navarra is an Italian clothing designer who has no issues with revealing a little sex appeal. Although incentives like sex and fame are not vices within the fashion world that he seems to fall subject to. While celebrities do wear his clothing and nudity and sex appeal seem to be prominent in the fashion world, Navarra emanates artistry, and these aspects are simply part of his craft. Navarra has created everything from knitwear, couture collections intended for the runway and elegant evening wear. His style is constantly evolving, but one aspect of his art has always been consistent: flair.   

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A fresh outlook inspires the seasoned designer,  he has nearly 30 years in the fashion industry. Navarra prefers untrodden compositions that other designers have not created. He does not adhere to existing trends since they have been produced by other designers.  Navarra likes to keep things original with his own freedom of expression through designing whatever the hell he wants. It’s a good thing he is talented because this kind of mentality may not work for everyone.

Gaetano Navarra has maintained a well established brand without great aid from televised media support, and print advertisements, we see many top designers such as Diane Von Frustenberg with her princess status and new reality show, or Balmain with their new social media and celebrity guru creative director Olivier Rousteing. Navarra is different. He appears to be in the clothing design industry for the love of the art, and he could care less about the spotlight.  Or at least, he does not indulge in this part of the business. In an interview with online fashion magazine, BeautyWorks, Navarra confessed, “I spend most of my free time at home. I like to read … I love solitude, when I have spare time I prefer to be all alone reading and thinking.” Perhaps this is the time when he finds inspiration for work.

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Navarra’s experience in the clothing industry began with his parents, who were both tailors, during childhood. With a careful eye for custom-made clothing and fervor to follow his impulse, each of his collections is a bit different from the next. The Gaetano Navarra brand is known for it’s ready-to-wear knit pieces, although he implements a range of fabric in his designs. I would have to say  that some of his runway pieces would make for unusual ready-to-wear streetwear, however, fashion is a walking piece of art. His garments are made with a confident woman in mind who has an appreciation for fashion. Much of his work notions previous Gaetano Navarra designs as he refers to the company’s archives at the beginning of each new collection. The designer likes to pair classic clothing shapes with bold Italian fabrics. His Fall/Winter 2014-2015 collection very much borrows from the 1970s in shape and style, while obtaining the color palette and attitude that is often associated with the 1980s. In contrast, Navarra’s Spring 2012 collection must have been drawn from the decade of the 90s, and featured a toe-head model with her mouth gaping open like a valley girl shouting something like “Yah!” or letting out gasps of glee. If he was going for vibrant, from this campaign we get the picture!

Women’s clothing is Navarra’s expertise. He builds clothing that a modern, self-assured women will want to wear. It’s no secret that womenswear is where his passion lies. Starting menswear in 2004, Navarra still has included aspects of feminine design choices. Juxtaposing classic and edgy styles is not the only mixture Navarra favors. For example his fall/winter 2009-2010 collection included feminine pleating that he attempted to make masculine. With one men’s and four womenswear collections per year, we are excited to see what this artist is generating for 2015.

-Devon Cotta