Looking at the slashed draped jerseys, super low waist duchesse pants, and suspension dresses worn by broody models of various genders in ATXV’s fall lookbook you’d never guess that the designer’s résumé includes eight years at Versace and six at Dolce & Gabbana. Antonio Tarantini’s solo work is sensual rather than overtly sexual, minimal rather than baroque, and less interested in power than in possibility.
When ATXV launched last year, it was greeted as a genderless collection, but that’s not exactly how the designer conceived it. “It is really important for me that in each look you have this mix of feminine and masculine,” said Tarantini on a call. “My language is the same for women’s clothes and men’s clothes.” And so his use of materials is universal, there aren’t fragile fabrics for women and stiffer ones for men. Everything is for everyone, perception is in the eye of the beholder.
Although he always dreamed of having his own line, Tarantini waited until he felt the moment was right. He launched in 2020, the year the world stopped and people imagined a sea change that would take us towards a better future. In fashion, all that talk resulted in little visible change on the macro level. This Italian is keeping the flame of hope alive, despite the hardships that come with building something from scratch. Having worked in a luxury “bubble” where everything was possible, the designer is focused on speaking to a wider audience. To that end, he projected his fall collection film (which allowed the “audience to be the protagonist of the night, not the models,”) on a wall in the metro station Piazza della Repubblica, which was open to all. “I would love to bring this kind of fashion to all people,” says Tarantini, “to show that there’s nothing strange, nothing so difficult, in a soft, beautiful jersey on a man or on a woman.”