NYFW and LFW seemed to be a mere aperitif in comparison to the high end fashion houses that lined the runway and streets of Milan –quite literally with D&G taking over half of Via Monte Napoleone for its post-show dinner. MFW offered a lively celebration of Italian culture, heritage and of course, fashion. Italians are known for their dramatisation, they rarely conceal their true feelings and each and every emotion can be found in every movement, gesture and facial expression. And this week was no exception, as designers wore their hearts on their sleeves with each intricate detail representing a thought, a feeling, a memory. Each show was unique and contrary to the last, from the minimalistic Fendi runway as bare as a blank piece of paper in which every pastel piece was given the full opportunity to pop to the frivolities of the colourful fiesta staged by D&G. This week offered a diverse array of fashion and festivities in true Italian style.
Gucci SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Wednesday 21st September 2016
On a gloomy drizzly day in Milan, Gucci’s rose tinted glittering ‘70s haven was the perfect escape. The plush interior perfectly complimented the exquisite pieces, enhancing every sparkling sequin, delicate floral embroidery, shiny metallic tassel, candy-coloured ‘80s puffed sleeve and ‘70s flowing flare. Delicate dresses were accompanied by huge ‘80s geek-chic specs – maybe I won’t limit my retro oversized specs to the library and lectures anymore – and Michele’s signature chunky loafers made a welcome return to the catwalk, both contrasts highlighting every intricate detail. Michele’s inspiration can be drawn from numerous cultures including his Italian homeland to exotic Asia, Victorian England and preppy America, merging these unique styles to create a mesmerising hybrid. There appeared to be a hint of old Hollywood glamour, more so than ever before, in Michele’s SS17 collection with elegant gowns gleaming with fine sequin embroidery, luxuriously glamourous fur coats and embroidered references to parties thrown for Johnny Ramone at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. I suppose such cultural references are bound to show when you’re rubbing shoulders with Hollywood’s finest and have an Academy-Award Winning bestie! As they say art imitates life. Although Michele has an identifiable style no two shows are completely the same, each offering a unique sensual experience. Michele’s one of a kind style has not only made waves within the high end fashion world but across the whole industry, with retailers going through guccification I’m intrigued to see which styles they will take on board from this beautiful vintage inspired collection. There wasn’t a piece in this collection that I didn’t want hanging in my own wardrobe, I was placed under a hazy pink Gucci spell and I was in awe of the collection which offered a true insight into the eccentric and unique mind of the Wizard of Gucci-Oz himself, the visionary and genius, Alessandro Michele.
“The clothes tell a story steeped in wonder, phantasmagoria and unorthodoxy. Such stories don’t mimetically represent reality. They rather act as magic lanterns, as distorting mirrors, altering languages, signs and consolidated codes.” – Alessandro Michele
Dolce & Gabbana SS17 Ready-To-Wear- Sunday 25th September 2016
Come to the party, Fiesta! The Italian Fashion House put on a lively, vibrant, fast-paced street party that was a true celebration of Italian culture and heritage. The catwalk was flooded with an array of Italian imaginary from religious icons and symbols to prints of Italy’s most well-known cuisine, all paying homage to the brands homeland. Amongst the fun and frivolity was intricate and delicate embroidery and beadwork which could be found on high-waisted hot pants and matador jackets. The finale left show goers hungry for more gaiety as breakdancers and musicians escorted the mesmerizing models down the runway. This energetic shindig clearly appealed to the modern millennial and the brands youthful clientele was well on display, with the likes of Sofia Richie and Rafferty Law gracing the front row. D&G offered a true celebration of Italian culture and customs which made me want to dance all night in the cobbled streets of a Mediterranean village whilst wearing a flamenco dress and sipping Sambuca.
Fendi SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Thursday 22nd September 2016
Whilst the runways décor may have been minimalistic, especially compared to the grand locations Karl usually chooses to house his elaborate shows, the collection itself was worlds away from its modest surroundings. If anything the humble surroundings merely enhanced every detail of this fun youthful collection. This collection saw a hybrid of Sporty and Baby Spice with candy-coloured casual wear and girly dresses accompanied by playful Harley Quin-esque pigtails and glittering gooey lip-gloss. The partnering of subtle coloured heels with bright neon socks offered a hint of S and B’s school attire in the early days of Gossip Girl. The use of colour blocking and the merge of varying styles sustained the girlish energetic theme and came as a breath of fresh air for the brand. It is clear that despite it being the Italian fashion house’s 90th year its here to stay.
Prada SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Thursday 22nd September 2016
Gucci wasn’t the only collection with an oriental vibe this week, Prada’s SS17 collection also took some inspiration from the Far East with lean models draped in Mandarin-collared, feather trimmed, silk pyjama’s strutting down the shiny aluminium runway -does this mean its acceptable to go to my 9am lectures in silky pj’s? I hope so! And Fendi wasn’t the only show to merge casual wear with a contrasting style, as Prada partnered athletic wear with smart, sophisticated, business blouses. This combination seemed to pay homage to the hectic lifestyle of the modern working woman in which one may have to juggle business with leisure.
Au Jour Le Jour SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Saturday 24th September 2016
This preppy, youthful collection seemed to pay tribute to the educational system of our friends across the pond with embroidered Greek letters of fraternities and sororities making an appearance on the catwalk. Gingham shirts and skirts and sparkling sequinned jumpers also fuelled the educational/school girl vibe. This fun, contemporary collection added a bit of American culture into what has been a very Italian week.
Luisa Beccaria SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Thursday 22nd September 2016
It seems to be becoming a habit that I single out a collection from each fashion week that I would like to see grace the red carpet at the coming award season and Milan was no exception. This delicate pastel fairy-esque collection with breathtakingly delicate floral embroidery would be well received on any red carpet. Like Temperley London and Monique Lhullier, this collection is bound to make anyone draped in any of these exquisite pieces feel like a winner.
Arrivederci Milan and Bonjour Paris – the grand finale to what has been a truly fabulous fashion season so far!