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Jet-black carbonized tree trunks were scattered around the stark white space of Milan’s Triennale, where the Del Core show was staged, like remains of wildfires in some geological cataclysm. That Daniel Delcore is concerned about the state of the Earth is stating the obvious. He travels to the most remote places just to find the purity and the intact beauty that our planet has lost along the way.

His latest hiking trip was at the Gates of the Arctic in Alaska. He spent time in the nowhere-ness of fields blanketed by lichens and moss corroding ancient stone formations. Often wildfires erupt in the dryness of such barren land. Fire is a transformational force, as regenerative as it is destructive; that’s what fascinated Delcore. He called the collection Embers Bloom, “an exploration of new mutating forms emerging from the ashes.”

The idea of mutation translated not into hybrid constructions, a concept that’s a bit passé, but rather into garments transforming with a simple gesture into shorter, more revealing, or more fitted versions of themselves through fastening and unfastening hooks placed at the hem, at the shoulders, or at the front. Shapely tailored pantsuits and slender tunic dresses were cut with surgical precision and rendered in sleek, lean silhouettes; the concise palette of stark lab-white and jet black was a smart choice, tunneling the attention on the message without diluting it with unnecessary options.

Delcore honed his skills on theatrical one-of-a-kind red carpet dresses, and his bravura shines when he works on evening or couture pieces. Here, standouts were long flowing backless dresses suspended on thin straps and finely pleated à la Madame Grès to mimic the combusted corrugating surfaces of tree barks.

The Arctic lichens that so fascinated Delcore—a species called Xantharia Parietina that comes in the form of a sunburst flower in tones of rust and deep red—were hand-embroidered by his atelier on an enveloping cocoon couture coat, or on a bustier dress with a puffy skirt blooming from draped layers of faded nude tulle. The finale—a jet black sculpted number with sequined appliqués in the form of round wings exploding from a corset—was a confirmation of the designer’s proclivity for the grand gesture. It’s an asset definitely worth cultivating and expanding.