It was a collision of two fashion phenomena guaranteed to create something exciting and unique: Tod’s, the Italian supremo of fine leather goods and shoes, and style icon Anna Dello Russo, editor-at-large for Vogue Japan. The result, a capsule collection of accessories called Circus, is equal parts extravagant and exuberant in representing the fantastical world of life under the Big Top, with its clowns, acrobats and exotic animals.
The classic Gommino loafer is refreshed with glitter, stars, stripes, diamond prints and feather charms, but it’s the clown faces and the fur trimmings that are likely to capture your attention first. The same approach is also applied to the signature Tod’s Double T satchel. Have a closer look and you will also spot two jesters playfully incorporated into the Double T buckle.
The collection, launched at Tod’s Omotesando store in Tokyo, is a fairly large departure from the house’s traditional design approach, but the collaboration, after all, is with Dello Russo, whose fearless approach to fashion has long been an obsession of street-style photographers around the world. Asked how she became the style icon of today, she says, “By changing 100 looks a day. Even in the car, between one destination and another.”
No wonder you never see the editor and creative consultant in the same thing twice. Dello Russo took some time out to dish with us on the design process behind the circus-inspired capsule collection.
What does the circus mean to you?
When you go to the circus, it’s like entering a parallel world. The same goes for fashion; it allows you to transform into something new. With his make-up and masks, the clown turns normality on its head. I wanted to create a collection centred on this theme of metamorphosis, disguise and, above all, entertainment. As a result, there are loafers that smile, bags with feathered hair or elephant ears, and sneakers with big bright eyes on the laces. There are symbols and interpretations in an eternal play of personalities.
What have you created for this collection?
Bags, charms, sneakers, loafers and iPhone covers. The ideas just kept coming. The characters came instantly to life, with recurrent colours, patterns and faces, just like in a nursery rhyme. It took a whole season to choose the materials and details and produce the collection.
How did you combine Tod’s craftsmanship with such a playful theme?
It was great fun. The artisans at Tod’s were brilliant. They met our every request for embroidery, inlays and hidden details. As a result, each piece has a unique personality.
How would you style up these accessories?
These are the perfect accessories to jazz up a casual look. But, as I always say, more is more, so what could be better than a fun bag with elephant ears for a glitzy evening look?
How do you develop your looks? Where do you start—the outfit or the accessories?
I start from a story, a mood. Sometimes the inspiration comes from shoes, sometimes a hat, sometimes an outfit. It’s never just one thing, but an overall idea.
How does the Italian approach to luxury and fashion differ from others?
Nowadays, luxury speaks an international language. I have had the privilege of working in Italy and Asia for more than a decade. I have always believed in a crossover approach. Fashion luxury is a unique code that speaks every language.
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