Milan highlights

Spring Summer 2017 ready-to-wear collections at Milan Fashion Week (MFW) bring back the much-needed decadence…

‘More is more’ was the mantra echoing across Milanese runways. Be it the eccentricity of Gucci’s dramatic pleated ruffles and rainbow dresses or the cinematic drama of Prada’s marabou feathers accenting the clutches, skirts and heels or Fendi’s floaty, glimmering aprons – designers didn’t shy away from the zeitgeist of daring-do. Given the state of economy and socio-political turmoil across continents – style mavens decided to focus on bringing the elegance back into our closets. Need proof? Have a look at Gucci’s fur coat which came with the label’s now-signature L’aveugle pour amour logo, which means blind for love. Dolce and Gabbana’s line was an ode to all things Italian – pasta, gelato and the all-pervading Catholic imagery. Their vibrant runway had girls with smiling, happy faces, who added allure to bejewelled, embellished jackets and skirts.
Gingham which was a major trend at New York and London fashion weeks also spilled into Milan seen at Au Jour Le Jour, who juxtaposed it with sequins and ruffles and Blumarine whose closing dress was a breezy number in soft grid prints. Another highlight was Giamba showcased at Palazzo Litta, a Baroque palace in Milan which dates back to 17th century. Valli’s lace and jacquard mini dresses and floor-length tiered numbers with sequin applique embroideries had a sensual undercurrent. Talking of sensuality, designer Philipp Plein’s line titled, Alice in Ghettoland had models sporting faded wash denims accented with gold chains and layered with track jackets, metallic croc suits. Here’s the low-down on collection which stood out…

Vibe: A 70’s nightclub with boudoir-pink velvet banquettes and mirrors

Highlight: A magpie-at-heart, designer Alessandro Michele toyed with the thought of being well-dressed-yet-devastated. In fact, there was one tiered evening dress that had a giant red embroidered heart, pierced with a jewelled dagger on the front, and the numerals ‘XXV’. Knife-pleated ruffles were a recurring motif, sometimes accenting a one-shoulder dress and other times, adding whimsy to a metallic twin-set with a pussy-bow collar. A dark, crestfallen undertone could be sensed as words like ‘Cemetery’ came inscribed on the belts. The Gucci eccentrics completed their looks with oversized dramatic, three-cornered hats, 70s sequinned sunnies and headscarves. Michele is a true poet and a genius stylist and this potent cocktail of intellect and style makes the label quite the talking point it’s become over the last few seasons!

Vibe: Utilitarian meets Baroque

Highlight: Trust Karl Lagerfeld to mix ideas and influences, decades and thought processes and present them like a soul-searing collage. Fendi show gloried thanks to the on-trend stripes and knitted sock booties. There were ribbon-tied aprons of elaborate gilded fabric over gathered pants; the artfully executed leather flower embroidery was extrapolated onto a khaki jacket and a trenchcoat, ’20s-style silk lingerie-like pieces had butterflies accents on their bodices. The most charming among them all were organza blouses with scalloped edges running around the shoulders and sleeves. The label’s hottest ticket – the guitar strap handbags were presented with floral accents.

Vibe: Art Deco prints meet marabou feathers

Highlight: Miuccia Prada may have lost her edge over the last few seasons but she bounced back with a vengeance. She referenced her on archive and brought back 20s and 30s Art Deco prints, which she had showcased in the mid-90s. The visionary designer, who’s always debated the very notion of beauty and the role of fashion and its anthropological relevance, presented an elegant collection embellished with marabou feathered skirts, knee-length box pleated kilts, fit and flared mini dresses and coats embellished with rhinestones. The envelope clutches which models held very close to their body brought to mind a chic scholar with a strong sense of identity.

Dolce & Gabbana
Vibe: Sicilian lifestyle

Highlights: Dolce and Gabbana clearly love their pasta and gelato as they printed both on their charming party dresses. The show opened with an embellished jacket skirt combo which had bejewelled buttons, cross earrings and floral pumps.  Tiaras, headscarves tied into a bow, chunky open-toe platforms added to the glitzy finish. There were prints galore from guitar and parachute  to Baroque florals which punctuated their signature black lace dresses. The label has always been about celebrating the Italian Good Life and this heartwarming line was an ode to that spirit.


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