For Restless Sleepers Resort 2022 Collection

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Joining forces in creative collaboration is one of the assets fashion brands are embracing to reach broader audiences. It’s also a way for designers to open up their often insular worlds and to be challenged by different points of view. Francesca Ruffini Stoppani cherishes the intimate, reflective way her collections come to life, but this resort she couldn’t resist the Turkish menswear designer Umit Benan’s proposal to work together on a concise offer of androgynous, genderless pajamas.

On a joint Zoom conversation, both designers were full of praise of the other’s work. “I’ve always loved Umit’s energy and his sartorial and inventive take on menswear,” said Ruffini. “Francesca’s world is fascinating, so elegant and sophisticated,” added Benan. They share a mutual love for the easy, yet luxurious loungewear.

Ruffini Stoppani pours her passion for archival iconography and exotic imagery into the gorgeous prints that have become an FRS signature, and she softens the masculine template of classic pajamas with feminine adjustments of fit and silhouette, adding a dash of extravagance in detailings and finishes. “I felt somehow that it was time for a more direct and natural approach, simplified and less complex, to give the look a fresher, younger spin,” she said. Benan’s twist of cool definitely helped in that direction.

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She brought the artisanal silk weaving and printing savoir faire of the Como region; he brought the loose fits and the smart, eccentric nonchalance of his mindset. The outcome is an edited ‘androgynous’ (as they called it) offer of pajamas, caftans, and robes in silk twill and soft cottons with slightly oversized and relaxed proportions. What sets it apart is the chromatic palette, carefully picked by Ruffini and enthusiastically approved by Benan: a set of deep dégradé hues, ‘sunny and vivid as if bathed in California light.’

Underlining the collab’s joyful spirit, the lookbook stars the designers’ mutual circle of friends and family in images shot at Ruffini’s house on Lake Como. Her mother Tina Stoppani, the stylist Robert Rabesteiner, and the photographer Dylan Don were all part of the pajama-clad crew. Some of them wrapped themselves in luxurious piumoni matching the collection’s colors or brushstroke prints. Rabesteiner was caught comfortably napping over a quilted blanket on the roof of his vintage Rolls Royce.

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