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The Spring Summer ’23 collection embodies HIGH’s eclectic poeticism at its very best - it’s full of lovely, lightweight feminine fabrics realised in luxuriously full volumes finished with exquisite details. As always it incorporates the boy-girl feminine/masculine aesthetic that is central to HIGH.
The campaign takes inspiration from the novel, ‘Brideshead Revisited’ by Evelyn Waugh. At once romantic, sensuous, serious, and comic, the book is full of lush storytelling and in one chapter, is the ultimate fusion of English and Italian romanticism.
A pivotal episode of the story and one of the most beautiful sequences in both the TV series and subsequent movies is the chapter of the book in which Sebastian Flyte and Charles Ryder travel to Venice.
“The fortnight in Venice passed quickly and sweetly - perhaps too sweetly; I was drowning in honey, stingless. On some days life kept pace with the gondola, as we nosed through the side canals and the boatman uttered his plaintive musical bird-cry of warning; on other days with the speed-boat bouncing over the lagoon in a stream of sun-lit foam; it left a confused memory of fierce sunlight on the sands and cool, marble interiors; of water everywhere, lapping on smooth stone, reflected in a dapple of light on painted ceilings”
Towards the end of the stay in Venice, Charles finds himself alone with Cara, the mistress of Lord Marchmain (Sebastian’s father). She speaks frankly to him, approving of the “romantic friendship” between Sebastian and Charles which is understand to mean a first love infatuation.
She goes on to explain that if that infatuation is a gay relationship it may pass without progeny, but if it is between a young man and woman it would lead to marriage and children, and thence potentially doomed to disillusion. Charles goes on to have a relationship with Sebastian’s sister Julia creating a love triangle that though supremely romantic, is indeed doomed.
The delicate and sophisticated settings and atmospheres of the film strongly inspired our narrative, which, instead of being set in Venice, uses the typically Italian and romantic architecture and nature of Lake Como. The spacious and frescoed spaces of the villa, the paintings, the staircase and, above all, the outdoor park by the lake contributed to the narration of a collection that is, above all, extremely feminine, delicate and full of retro references.
Our model Naomi has an androgynous beauty that perfectly echoes the gender fluid aspect of the novel and indeed of the collection. Like the story itself, it's timeless with an added flavour of romantic nostalgia that makes it all the more irresistible.
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