Giovanni Bedin may not be a household name just yet, but his cage-style dresses are suddenly everywhere, from Hollywood’s red carpets to Ibiza’s clubs. Based in London, the designer draws on his Italian heritage—he comes from a family of made-to-measure fine tailors—to create looks both sensual and modern. Educated at École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, Bedin began his rise in the fashion world several years ago when word of mouth about his custom gowns for private clients evolved into a couture collection, and now we have the label’s first season of ready-to-wear.
The current offerings include only dresses, a calculated decision by the Venetian designer. “I think I can say more in a dress,” he explains. “I want to make something that flatters women, makes them feel more confident. I want to do sexy without being too obvious. I explore the place where sex appeal and ladylike dressing meet.”
To that end: corsetry. It has quickly become a signature of the label, not in the traditional, hard-boning sense, but in a modern interpretation that hints at elements of bondage via wide, flat straps that crisscross the body. “It’s about constructing clothes that follow a woman’s figure,” he says. “A woman’s figure is not piece of wood—it is supposed to move and bend, and clothing should accentuate and flatter these movements.”
Most definitely not for the body-shy, Bedin’s dresses are daringly short and dramatically contoured. An emphasis on anatomical seaming and meticulous tailoring is instinctive to the designer, who has lived and breathed fashion for as long as he can remember. “My parents encouraged me,” he says. “They taught me the importance of seeking perfection in my work, even as a child. From them, I learned to never take the easy way, because people can see it in your clothes. Detail is everything.”
Featuring a black-and-white color palette, the Giovanni Bedin Fall ’18 collection takes its inspiration from the boldly striped shirts of traditional gondoliers and incorporates bondage references. “I always look for a way to bring classic elements and provocative details together,” he says. “That is the space I want to work in.”
Bedin expects corsetry to continue to be an influential element of the brand’s DNA. Dresses will remain his focus, at least for now. “We are living in a moment where street style is everywhere and everyone loves it,” Bedin acknowledges. “But you can’t wear a hoodie to say hi to the Queen. I want to make something that speaks to women when they have the occasion to wear special clothes, when there are some rules about what to wear and they want to stand out.”