It’s a wrap on Milan Fashion Week. But before we head into the final leg of the month long fashion marathon in Paris, Antidote looks back on what made Milan great this season.
BEHIND BARS : STRIPES STEEL THE SPOTLIGHT IN ITALIAN
Bottega Veneta Spring-Summer 2017
If there was one breakout trend of Milan fashion week it was the use of stripes on the catwalk. The graphic motif showed up sizes big (Dsquared2, Fendi, Etro) medium (Franceso Scognamiglio, Ports 1961, Aquilano Rimondi,) and implied. Meaning that some designers used micro pleating and ribbing to texturally create the look of stripes on their outfits. Marni, Jil Sander and Arthur Arbesser all went the route of accordion-like pleated fabrics that expanded around the body and over at Emilio Pucci designer Massimo Giorgetti’s gather together in folds his flowing fabric for a more subtle asymmetrical suggestion of a stripe.
Then there was the knitwear expert Missoni. The family owned brand returned to its tried and true ribbed knits to create vertical suggestion of stripes. This embedded line played counterpoint to designer Angela Missoni’s other sartorial narrative of horizontal stripes in a myriad of shades that compartmentalized the models bodies in blocks of color.
THE HADID SISTERS : MILAN’S TAG TEAM SUPERMODELS
From left to right : Fendi Spring-Summer 2017, Francesco Scognamiglio Spring-Summer 2017, Aquilano.Rimondi Spring-Summer 2017, Emilio Pucci Spring-Summer 2017, Missoni Spring-Summer 2017
This week Gigi and Bella Hadid were the big gets on the fashion catwalks. Some designers had to settle for one, but the real power play was to have both women walk a brand’s runway. For front row guests it almost became a game to see which Hadid would open or close a show and how many looks each woman would wear in a single collection.
When the final tally was made Gigi came out on top as the sister who truly dominated Milan Fashion Week. Not only was she handed the proverbial “American Supermodel” torch from icon Lauren Hutton at the end of the Bottega Veneta show she also proved she could handle herself off the catwalk. When she was accosted exiting the Max Mara show by an over zealous fan, who physically lifted her into the air, the featherweight beauty gave the guy a hard elbow to the nose and he promptly let her go. These Hadid women are not to be trifled with on, or off, the catwalk.
THE EYE CATCHING ACCESSORY : THE EMILIO PUCCI HAT
Emilio Pucci Spring-Summer 2017
Fashion shows are known for coming up with some pretty original accessories to give their collections an added kick. And this season in Milan that continued to be the case. But there was one brand that pulled far out ahead in this field and that was Pucci.
Designer Massimo Giorgetti’s colorful and sporty show featured oversized woven raffia straw hats that totally obscured the models faces as they deftly maneuvered the Pucci catwalk. But what was particularly interesting was that instead of going for a more traditional beige straw hat the designer used pitch black raffia. He left strands of the straw cascade down to the models chins to create a curtain-like effect. The result was both dramatic and playful. A combination that isn’t often attempted but it made for the perfect counterpoint to the tribal-tinged collection.
FORGET THE HEELS : EMBRACE PLATFORM FLATS
From left to right : Versace Spring-Summer 2017, Prada Spring-Summer 2017
When designer Donatella Versace decides to start her signature Versace fashion show with a series of models wearing thick Tevas instead of heels you know a change is a foot in fashion. Versace is a woman who who has never met a high heel she didn’t like, and yes later in the show a few of those appeared. But even the notion that Versace would even consider putting Tevas on her catwalk points to a major footwear shift.
And she wasn’t the only one doing it. The design team at Salvatore Ferragamo offered up some seriously padded soles for its sandals. Miuccia Prada also paired her feather embellished cacophonously colorful outfits with brightly hued, double thick sandals. And Fay, MSGM and Marco de Vincenzo also got in on the thick-soled sandal action.
THE MILLENIAL MOMENT : DOLCE & GABANNA LOOKS TO THE FUTURE
Dolce & Gabbana Spring-Summer 2017
Not so long ago designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana caused a stir when they placed the first generation of celebrity bloggers and street style photographers in their front row. Ruffling the feathers of a number of perennial front row guests who now found themselves relegated to second row.
Well the designer duo did it again this season. But this time the front row was filled with #influencers, second generation celebrities and YouTube sensations. Journalists were given a four page handout with the photos and the names of each of the teenage and early twenty-year old guests, along with information on the number of followers they had on Instagram. The screaming crowd outside of the venue chanting the name of YouTube star Cameron Dallas proved that the brand had hit a nerve with the millennials. Having Lucky Blue and his good looking siblings as well as Sistine Stallone (Sylvester’s daughter) and Rafferty Law (son of Jude) not to mention Dylan Jagger Lee (Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s handsome offspring) underlined the fact that a whole new era of celebrity is upon us. And Dolce and Gabbana is embracing it with open arms.
THE MISSING LINK : MAKE-UP
From left to right : Tod’s Spring-Summer 2017, Erika Cavallini Spring-Summer 2017, Les Copains Spring-Summer 2017
It looks like Alicia Keys’ choice to stop wearing makeup entirely has had an industry wide ripple effect this season. Starting in New York and now in Milan makeup seems to be nonexistent. Where once we talked about “natural” or “youthful” makeup application the devolution of runway makeup has gotten to the point where even makeup artists themselves are obliged to call their work at the shows a “no makeup makeup” approach.
In Italy a large portion of runway shows and presentations went this highly minimal route. Erika Cavallini, Tods and Brunello Cucinelli kept guests focused on the clothing and accessories at their presentations, rather than the models wearing them, in part by not distracting them with eye-catching makeup applications. But on the runway too designers went the minimal route. Brand, big and small, like Bottega Veneta and Prada or Les Copains and Isa Arfen went for some of the most minimalist makeups on record. This trend is taking the “fresh face” idea to a whole new level.
ONE TO WATCH : GABRIELE COLANGELO
Gabriele Colangelo Spring-Summer 2017
Designer Gabriele Colangelo produced not one, but two, highly original and modern collections in Milan this season. An LVMH prize semi-finalist Colangelo has shown himself to be a uniquely talented designer whose work never seems to reference any particular time or familar design style. His work, be it for his signature brand, or his new gig as the designer for Giada, always finds its starting place in the artistic expression of artists in different fields of creativity, from painting and ceramics to photography and music. But in this designer’s hands those reference points fade, blend and bond together to create something that is whole original and innovative, both visually and texturally, as Colangelo is also a big fan of creating new fabric weaves and fur treatments. He is a true Italian original.
DISCO WILL NEVER DIE : THE 70s STILL SELLS
From left to right : Gucci Spring-Summer 2017, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini Spring-Summer 2017, Roberto Cavallini Spring-Summer 2017, Giamba Spring-Summer 2017
If there is one era that fashion designers seem to find endless inspiration from it is the 1970s. The rich sartorial range of that time, from peace and love hippies and Studio 54 glamour to military garb and ladies who lunch sophistication its easy to understand why the industry can’t get enough of the decade. Milan in particular has a fondness for this time and brands like Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, and Giamba all took a page out of the 70s playbook.
But what was nice to see was the way each designer was able to incorporate a bit of that 70s vibe without, in most cases, getting overrun by it. Gucci, for example was a real stand out. The eclectic vintage flavored collection by designer Alessandro Michele, which was also inspired by the time he recently spent in Hollywood, was an evolution of his signature style. The fashion crowd is still fascinated by his sartorial world and wants to continue to explore it. So even if the 70s clearly shapes Michele’s universe it doesn’t overpower it.
THE BATTLE OF THE SUPERMODELS : THE RUNWAY THROW DOWNS
Versace Spring-Summer 2017
At both Versace and Bottega Veneta the casting was legendary. Who could sell it better the veterans or the newbies? Would experience win out over youthful enthusiasm? On the Versace catwalk where the order of the day was sporty, sexy body hugging clothing you had Namoi Campbell, Doutzen Kroes, Jourdan Dunn and Adrianna Lima showing the young ones how its done. Taylor Hill, Bella Hadid and her sister Gigi held their own chez Donatella. However, maybe because those girls were in heavy runway rotation this season, at Versace the icons won out.
Over at Bottega designer Tomas Maier dug even deeper for his thow back homage to supermodels. He had the legend that is Lauren Hutton walk his catwalk to celebrate the brand’s 50th anniversary and his 15 years at the house. Along side the 72 year old beauty other beloved model favorites like Guinevere Van Seenuse, Karen Elson, Edie Campbell and Aymeline Valade showed off the pose and grace that comes with practice. But when Hutton took a bow arm in arm with Gigi Hadid, it made for a touching supermodel passing of the torch moment.
VOLUME AND COLOR CONTROL
From left to right : MSGM Spring-Summer 2017, Stella Jean Spring-Summer 2017, Salvatore Ferragamo Spring-Summer 2017, Arthur Arbesser Spring-Summer 2017
On the last day of Milan fashion week a number of designers turned to the bright color ways of sportswear and all its high tech fixtures and fittings to create dynamic designs. MSGM, Marni, Arthur Arbesser, Stella Jean, Ferragamo and Missoni all showed on the last full day of Milan Fashion Week. And all of them pushed the petal to the metal in terms of the use of high impact colors. Sometimes head to toe, but often in color blocking. The influence of sportswear was all over the catwalk, from Stella Jean reinterpreting football jerseys to designers using classic athleticwear emblems (arrows at Arbesser) and fixtures and fittings like drawstring (MSGM).
It all made for a strong finish to the week and one that underlined the new diversity and positive creative energy currently coming out of Milan.