We have reached Milan! (Well, by the time this is posted everyone will have jetted off to Paris, but I’m basing it on the time of writing.) Milan Fashion Week is often my favourite. I resonate with Italy for reasons I will never know: I have never even visited. Many of my favourite designers of all time are Italians and I think I just like the Italian aesthetic. They understand that a woman’s body is meant to be celebrated: they don’t shy away from all things sensual. But, somehow, there remains a certain class and mystery about the woman they create. Think of lots of the big names in fashion: Versace, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana – all Italians. Really, the list can go on and on. I recently visited an exhibition at the V&A in London, entitled “The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014”, which wasn’t the greatest exhibition ever (the presentation was NOTHING compared to the incredible Jean Paul Gaultier one that I had visited earlier that day) but featured some beautiful clothes by designers who I loved. It was nice to see things in the flesh and also very odd to see dresses from collections that had been on the catwalk only a few seasons earlier.
But enough about the past and onto this actual season. Milan is usually the place where there are so many collections that I love and as a result of this, I struggle to whittle it down to the greatest. I have a feeling this season will be the same (I am writing this on day 2). Already Snejana Onopka and Gemma Ward have walked, causing much hysteria online. Yes, all of us over on tumblr have a soft spot for these two, especially Snejana for me (who has been teasing us all in the past few months about a comeback being on the cards). Should we rename Milan “Comeback City” perhaps?
Also, two things I have learned from Milan: the 70s is the decade of choice and designer denim is now totally back in.
When the show opened with Gemma Ward, everyone knew we were onto a winner. Gemma is probably one of the most beloved models of the past decade, despite the fact that her hiatus has lasted as long as her initial modelling career. The reaction on the internet to Gemma’s return was electric and probably got more attention than the actual Prada collection. However, I don’t just care about Gemma, I liked the clothes too. Prada is strange to me. It is a brand that I love, but often don’t quite understand. There are often collections that I find ugly on the runway, and write off, then see in editorials or on the streets and then, in retrospect, fall in love with. This was one that I got right from the start – or at least I think I do anyway. The set contributed greatly to the overall vibe of the collection, and helped it make a bit more sense. The lilac sand dunes made everything seem a little bit sad, a little bit down and overall melancholic. But don’t get me wrong, the mood was sad but, oddly, not depressing. I liked the unfinished hems and inside-out seams. They made everything look a little less put-together, a little more undone. Moreover, I liked the socks with shoes – it oddly worked. Also, I freaking loved these boots. And finally, Lara Stone closing the show just ended it on a high. Well done Miuccia.
I am now here for Jeremy Scott. He is outrageous and injects a bit of fun into Milan. I think a problem in fashion can be that people take it too seriously (which is fair enough considering it is a multi-billion dollar business), and Jeremy Scott doesn’t. He has fun with it. Since his first show at Moschino – the fast-food fuelled, consumerist spectacle which generated so much press – people have spoken about him. This season, his collection referenced another American icon: Barbie. The invitations themselves were even a talking piece, a hot pink plastic comb and mirror, and images of them have been spattered all over instagram. Charlotte Free roller-skating down the catwalk, a dangerous feat, set the tone brilliantly. Frida Aasen was also in the show, which I’d say was good casting considering she has been likened to a Barbie doll so many times. I think it was apt using Barbie as an inspiration considering all the controversy that the doll has faced over the years, similar to that surrounding models. People often argue how unrealistic a body standard Barbie sets, but really it is just a doll. Models constantly face the same criticism. I like how Jeremy made the models into real life, walking and talking Barbie dolls. Yes, Barbie is now alive, deal with it. I cannot wait to see this collection in print, especially in the campaigns considering how this season’s ones turned out (like a 90s Chanel ad, a.k.a brilliant). Honestly, the clothes weren’t exactly the most wearable, nor were they stunningly beautiful, but they worked. They were more like costumes. This is a show. Moschino clothes never look commercial on the runway, nor are they commercial in nature. What you see in stores is generally a strictly edited version of it. Bear that in mind when you see, and criticise, the collection – just lose yourself in the fun of it all. This is practically every little girl’s dream come to life, you can’t even deny that.
I’m officially declaring the 70s as a thing. It is everywhere but nowhere has it been done better than at Emilio Pucci. I am a big fan of Peter Dundas’ work, I think he works so well for the brand. Natasha Poly opened the show, looking incredible in the tan suede knee high boots – an item that I suspect many of us will already have in our wardrobes, meaning we can recreate the look ourselves. I loved the wide leg trousers, something that I will definitely be trying myself and also the long, flowing maxi dresses, especially the chiffon, multi-coloured, almost tie-dye one that Anna Ewers wore. Emilio Pucci back in the 60s was an icon, and I’d say that his brand remains iconic to this day.
Dolce and Gabbana
I love Dolce & Gabbana. It has been, and probably always will be, one of my favourite brands due to the fact that they consistently deliver absolutely beautiful clothes. Yes, they are repetitive – we have seen the same thing for the past few years now – but still, it remains breathtaking every single time. My biggest gripe with Dolce & Gabbana is that their adverts are too similar each season, they were good at first but it got old a long time ago now. I can only hope that they switch up the adverts for this upcoming season, instead of this whole big Sicilian family thing they have going on, they should focus on the models and getting an excellent shot. If you look back at an archive of old Dolce & Gabbana ad campaigns, there are some real gems in there. (Take a look at Cruise 2007 and S/S 2011 for examples.) This collection, albeit not groundbreakingly different and unusual, was once again stunning. It was said to be influenced by Spain, pulling together the traditional Sicilian influences they often cite and mixing them with a slight Spanish flare. The use of lace, florals and embroidery, a real Dolce & Gabbana signature, was luxurious and looked expensive – fit for a princess. The embellishments were divine and the army of models wearing a white shirt and hot pants at the end was brilliant, and definitely a look to try. Also, there was some designer denim in there: I am crazy about these bejewelled offerings, I can only hope they trickle down onto the high street so I can join in – that entire outfit is basically my goal in life now. Overall, the collection was, as I expected, marvellous and if I had unlimited funds, I would splurge on many pieces from it.
Frida Giannini continues on a winning streak at Gucci this season. Riding on a high from FW14, she created yet another brilliant collection. This season it was inspired by the 70s and featured lots of denim. You may be thinking, “why designer denim?” and that is something that I often question myself. I wonder whether the Gucci denim will sell when we can find denim on the high street, or even from brands like Levi’s, for cheaper than these will retail for. This season, what Gucci offered was a vintage take on things. It was like going to a thrift store but without all of the digging through rags to find a real treasure. Basically, if FW14 was a revival of the 60s, I can already tell that Spring 2015 is going to be all about the 70s – and I am so pleased about it.
And the rest…
No 21. was made by the styling with the belts to be honest. I love this military-esque look.
It continues to amaze me that Karl Lagerfeld designs for both Fendi and Chanel, his work for the two brands could not be more different. What I love about Fendi is that you know the materials used will be the most luxurious. Case in point: this season, I loved the use of feathers in the final few dresses (x) (y), and also this wonderful leather dress (watch it in motion on the link, the way the pleats move are incredible).
Snejana Onopka walked at Ports 1961, and I was so glad to see her back. The rest of the collection was pretty good too. There were lots of outfits that I could see myself actually wearing, like this, this and this.
I am so obsessed with women in suits just now and I loved this yellow one at Tod’s.
Giorgio Armani presented the most beautiful bejewelled gown. It was a stunning look and I urge you to watch the video, watch it sparkle (linked).
The fringing on this dress at Marco de Vincenzo was incredible.
I loved Agnona’s full collection: it was only 13 looks, but 13 seemed to be their lucky number.
Versace was its usual sexy self, however, it was slightly more fresh than usual. Also, the classic Grecian print was all over much of the clothes, I loved it. My favourite looks were this, this, this and this.
Alberta Ferretti was an ethereal romantic hippy-esque collection which I found insanely beautiful. I have linked the full collection because honestly it was crazy beautiful.