Highlights From Milan Fashion Week
By Jessica Mehalic Lucas
Overall takeaway from Milan Fashion Week: The Italians know what they’re doing. That was evident with Bottega Veneta’s ’40s-esque polished elegance, Brunello Cucinelli’s effortless, feminine creations for the modern urbanite and Ermanno Scervino’s sophisticated assortment of sparkly military coats and lacy dresses with a sporty twist. Yes, Spring’s just getting started, but Fall can’t arrive soon enough.
For those who are fans of Alessandro Michele’s eccentric creativity, he put together a knockout Fall collection. Gucci’s first unified women’s and men’s fashion show featured inspirations from just about everywhere—the Renaissance, Victorian England, Asia, New York and Hollywood in the ‘70s and 80s. Sometimes these references even overlapped in one look, best appreciated up close to take in all the intricate, verging-on-couture details. The design team at Roberto Cavalli also delivered an opulent collection, including a range of dresses that paid tribute to the founder’s signature floral, animal and snakeskin prints in a subtle color palette. Over at Etro, a riot of paisleys, florals, checks and animal prints were worn by boho-chic wanderers.
How about those red boots? The smoldering over-the-knee style was paired with almost every look in Fendi’s spectacular lineup. According to show notes, “The Fendi muse for fall-winter 2017-18 collection emerges at dawn: a cinematic character pacing the streets of Rome.” She was an extremely well dressed cinematic character, clad in menswear fabrics with feminine tailoring, breezy printed shirtdresses and extravagant furs with a vine-leaf motif. Everything of course displayed the brand’s signature craftsmanship—graphic motifs took a cue from traditional woodblock printing, while knits and intarsia were intricately engineered.
Miuccia Prada’s fabulously complex collection centered on her vision of smart seduction. Ostrich feathers, crystal beading and embroidery decked out everyday pieces—pencil skirts, cardigans, tailored jackets—many in cozy fabrics like corduroy, tweed and shearling. In a lineup that celebrated the crafty side of the ‘70s (weaving in ‘50s and ‘60s references as well), there were plenty of kooky combos—take the crochet bra tops worn under toasty jackets. For those who prefer a more pared-down aesthetic, individual pieces could easily be incorporated into one’s wardrobe, plus there were standalone stunners like Lindsey Wixson’s curve-hugging red dress.
Versace showcased its glam female power with modern suiting, sexy slip dresses and neon-accented sportswear. In a nod to today’s political situation, words like Equality, Love, Courage, Unity, Strength appeared on tops, dresses, scarves and hats. Edgy outerwear and draped dresses in an open weave tweed were among the show highlights. Overall it was an impressive effort from Donatella Versace, rumored to be handing over the reins to her friend and former Givenchy lead Riccardo Tisci. Dolce & Gabbana also made a statement by opting to use real life women of all ages, sizes and ethnicities over top models. Everyone was of course exuberantly dressed in clothes and accessories they had picked out themselves.
In his second collection for Salvatore Ferragamo, Fulvio Rigoni said he strove to create clothes that are “dynamic, luxurious, comfortable, yet sensual.” His interpretation of that was a lean wearable silhouette that ran throughout the show—from mixed animal print dresses in muted tones to high-waisted wrap skirts with sleek tops to super slim tailored pants. The elegant display was peppered with sportiness in puffer jackets and wraps.
Giorgio Armani ended the week, updating his signature tailoring with color, texture and shape. In particular, he played with pants—wide, slim and a new silhouette with an attached skirt in front. Brand devotees will gravitate to black and grey, but bright looks in red, blue and green were all over the runway. Evening of course enchanted with dazzling dresses as well as high-waisted pants and embroidered tops. At the Emporio Armani show, a wide range of outerwear (from sleek maxi coats to fur chubbies) and crystal embellished evening looks were attention-grabbers.