Best of Milan Fashion Week
In a sentence, I'd summarize Milan Fashion Week as this: a lot of beautiful clothes presented at a disorienting moment in time. Some collections felt intimately inspired by or transportive to the past. At Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, for example, a strong 1950s aesthetic informed the collection.
Images Luca Tombolini/Indigital.tv via Vogue
At Luisa Beccaria, it wasn't the 50s but the 1970s that felt alive and well, as was the case for a lot of designers who were channeling that decade in their collections.
Images Marcus Tondo via Vogue
While some designers looked to the past for inspiration, others looked ahead. Francesco Risso's debut collection for Marni featured a couple of looks, complete with alien-esque sunglasses, that felt futuristic to me in some way.
Meanwhile, other designers opted to stay in the here and now and grapple with how we might dress in the present. I found those collections, the ones neither too deeply rooted in nostalgia for the past, nor overly concerned with what's to come, to be the most interesting. Here are the ones that stood out for me:
I loved this entire collection, start to finish. I found it light and beautiful at what has unfolded as a heavy moment both in fashion and in society at large (transatlantically, I might add). Most of all, the clothes captured how I want to look right now. The clean lines and simple cuts felt streamlined, as if the superfluous had been cut out and what was left, only the essential. Yet the clothes were far from minimalist, with sequins, embroidery, and bright colors adding just the right amount of spunk that it feels we need from our clothing right now.
Images courtesy Attico
I wasn't expecting to love this collection as much as I did, but when the images stuck with me for a few days, I realized it had left a big impression. There was pattern play, creative layering, and lots of embroidery, all of which worked in harmony to transform pieces of clothing we've seen or worn countless times into special ones, worthy of a second look. That is hard work for a designer, and when it's done well, I take notice. For example, a wave of beautiful embroidery on a men's military-esque coat struck me as wonderfully original, and made for one of my favorite looks of the week.
Images Kim Weston Arnold/Indigital.tv via Vogue
PRADA WAS GOOD. No, Prada was very good. We've known for a long time that Miuccia Prada is not messing around when it comes to creating interesting, relevant fashion that also holds our attention and captures our imagination. She has said, "I believe the catwalk is 50 percent reality and 50 percent imaginary, entertainment," and this collection felt to me in line with her sentiment. Beyond this statement, but in the actual clothing, one can see she understands that in order for fashion to be good it must consistently interplay between fantasy and reality in a delicate way. And not just on the runway, but as it plays out in our daily lives as women. That is, we want our clothes to work for us practically, but also to give us something emotionally. And why shouldn't they? As we increasingly move away from the paradigm of either|or to that of and, I think it's reasonable to expect that our clothing is capable of delivering reality and fantasy in a more cohesive way.
Images Monica Feudi/Indigital.tv via Vogue
Finally, it's virtually impossible (ok, actually impossible) to talk about good fashion that represents exactly how we want to look at the present moment without discussing Gucci, by Alessandro Michele. Truthfully, my ideas on this are half-baked (at best!). I'm not sure why Gucci is resonating in the way it is. I'm also not entirely sure how Mr. Michele is pulling off making clothes that could, in another context, seem costume-like or simply unwearable, actually feel so incredibly relevant. What I do know is that Gucci's success indicates we crave deeply connective experiences with our clothing. We want to be inspired, transported, and delighted by the clothes we wear. Our personal sense of style is entirely subjective. We might find these clothes beautiful or repulsive, but there is undoubtedly something universal in them, that in turn says something universal about our relationship with getting dressed.
Images Yannis Vlamos/Indigital.tv via Vogue
I am seriously debating the merits of spending the rest of 2017 ensconced in this pink Vivetta robe with black embroidery.
Vionnet offered a welcome reminder to pair the unexpected together. In this case, an elegant gown with a deep v-neck is given a dash of informality and practicality with the addition of a lightweight turtleneck. Noted.
Lucio Vanotti showed an elegant, streamlined collection that was minimalist in its essence, yet with a few creative sparks. I loved the asymmetrical draping of this light silk fabric over this relaxed look. I'm inspired to add a light silk draped asymmetrically over a casual outfit, or even a more formal one.
Finally, what is not to love about these two looks from Albino Teodoro? This felt grounded in the 1950s concept of a hostess gown, but executed in a fresh way, particularly in the look on the right, in which the pants are relaxed and more casual. Also, I'm thrilled to see another designer adding visual interest with gloves (albeit lightweight ones here) and brooches.
Images via Vogue, photographer unknown
What did you think about Milan Fashion Week?