I am fascinated by Italy at the moment. I’m taking an art history class, mainly focused on the Renaissance, and it has me urging to visit. The beautiful paintings, architecture, and sculptures created in the many regions of the country are so very inspiring. So if Italy is the birthplace of the Renaissance, and art is so ingrained in Italian culture, it only makes sense that they excel at fashion – you know, the wearable type of art.
To be honest, it is Milan Fashion Week that gets me most excited. I feel an affinity with Italy, a place I have never even travelled to, and I adore Italian fashion. Just think, they have the best fashion magazine (Vogue Italia), some of the most stunning models (Bianca Balti, Monica Belluci, and Carla Bruni to name a few), and many of the top brands (Prada, Versace, Fendi, and so many more). I always struggle to whittle down my Milan review to something short enough that people would actually want to read; I could go on and on for thousands of words. So let’s hope this season is no different. I’m writing this introduction on the 25th, so the first day of the collections, and so far I’ve only seen a few images from Gucci. I can hardly wait to see what the rest of the week brings!
Before I seen any images from this collection, I saw the inspiration board and I knew it was going to be a winner. It was full of photos of Marilyn Monroe, from the one of her on the beach wrapped up in an aztec cardigan, to one with her and Arthur Miller frolicking in the sand, and many more. I love Marilyn. I think she is one of the unsung style icons of the 20th century. Yes, she is an icon for sure, but her personal style is often ignored. For example, her most well-known look is probably the white halterneck Travilla dress that she wore in the Seven Year Itch for the infamous subway-blowing-up-skirt shot. This collection has captured more than that. It is full of soft, chunky knits, cosy camel coats (a MaxMara staple), and wonderful skirt suits. The clothes are the type that you’d want to touch, that if you were wearing you’d nuzzle your sleeve against your cheek to comfort yourself. I want to dress like this everyday, maybe minus the shiny quilted pieces though… Also, the hair and make-up was stunning, so easy to recreate as well. PS – I love this bag.
First and foremost, Fendi is a furrier. That is what their business was built on, and that is what it continues to be known for to this day. Each collection, fur is incorporated and it is often used in many different ways. As trims, as lining, as the main piece itself, as a bag – you name it, they’ve done it. The patchwork coats in this collection were brilliant, as were the bags, and that one fur dress… Karl Lagerfeld often produces, in my opinion, better work at Fendi than he does at Chanel, something that I find interesting considering that a lot of people don’t know that he designs at both. People say it is the collaboration with the Fendi family that makes his work better, or more so that it is their work. Either way, I like this collection. They played with proportions, with oversized pea coats and big puffy furs. Also, a wonderful graphic print was created to look like patchwork, or a grid – it reminded me slightly of YSL’s Mondrian print but without the clear block lines – I just love it, I want it, I need it.
Ok, I admit it. I love it. I want to be a Versace women. They are confident and ooze sex appeal, a bit odd considering some of the models who were less than bombshells. But maybe that is what Versace is about? Making everyone look sexy, regardless of their body type. The big belts, the signature Greek print, the mid-thigh high boots, the choker spelling out V-E-R-S-A-C-E: everything was brilliant and I’m struggling to fault it. I could’ve done without the hashtags and @ signs, but perhaps that is just reflective of our digital age. Donatella has somehow made puffy jackets look good (and I hate puffy jackets normally), made obvious branding that was very 90s look up-to-date (Versace written right across the chest, for example), and made very Gianni style dresses that look just as good on Natasha Poly now as they did on Christy and co. in the early 90s.
DOLCE & GABBANA
It’s no surprise that this is on my list. It always is. To put it simply, I love the brand. I could gush on and on about them for hours, but basically their brand and their ideal woman is everything I want to be: sexy (but not in a trashy way), confident, elegant, motherly (you know, for that time waaaaay into the future), Italian. To me, they embody Italian fashion and nobody does it better. This collection was a celebration of motherhood, something that is very Italian. Stereotypically, Italian men are mama’s boys and interestingly, a large proportion of the population live at home until they are married. Family is important, and women even more so. I can’t talk about this collection without giving a nod to Angelina Jolie’s wedding dress, Versace-designed, which has to have been a jump-off point for this collection. It features drawings similar to what Angelina had on her wedding dress (done by her kids) on many of the dresses and skirts in the collection, but there was also definitely a Madonna and child vibe going on with this collection. Furthermore, a very-pregnant Bianca Balti walked, and still managed to look stunning. She definitely isn’t like any pregnant women I know! Also, look how happy this little girl looks, it’s so cute. Overall it was a stunning collection which featured many of the Dolce & Gabbana signatures that we have come to expect: lace, florals, and well cut dresses that accentuate the body in the best way possible. Viva La Mamma!
This was a collection of epic length, 85 looks in total – some of which looked slightly repetitive. However, overall I’m a fan. Giorgio Armani presented one of my favourite collections at Spring 2015 Couture Week, and he has done the same again. It all looks so wearable, a word that lots of people use as a criticism. I don’t see how you can criticise something for being commercial since fashion is, first and foremost, a business. The companies need to make things that will sell or they will cease to exist. I don’t think I’m someone who lives for a theatrical collection: I enjoy watching them, but I rarely adore the clothes. I’m all for practicality. The print on the trousers of the first look were almost watercolour, they had a fluidity and made the trousers appear to swish as the model walked, even more than they did naturally. Moreover, this fur jumper looked so cosy, and the interesting hybrid of skirt and trousers (I’d say better than the skort) added something a little more to a look that could’ve been so basic. Armani already has a similar pair of trousers out just now, although the skirt is less pronounced as it is just a crossover flap at the front (linked), from his collezioni line.
And the rest…
Alessandro Michele’s debut at Gucci was fine, but I didn’t love it. This fur coat was stunning but I thought there were a few things wrong with the rest of the collection: 1) the ugly glasses that the models all wore, 2) the horribly un-diverse cast that was just so glaringly obvious, and 3) the prints (x & y) that looked too Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2014 for my liking – yes, they were slightly different, sans owls and also pleated, but they looked very similar, so much so that I thought they were identical when I was browsing through the thumbnails.
Fausto Puglisi was very Versace. I’m surprised they don’t get him in to design a Versus collection. His work has the ability to take you back to the Gianni days, which is not to say that the designer is derivative but he is clearly influenced. The gold accents on skirts and dresses, and the super-sexy cuts are classic Puglisi, and I just adore this dress. Also, the coral jewellery was insane and was said to be inspired by Loulou de la Falaise, the iconic YSL muse. I’m waiting to see Nicki Minaj in this dress.
Luisa Beccaria’s collection gave me post-war, high society woman vibes. Just look at the sleeves on this top, how amazing.
Alberta Ferretti’s collection was very different from last season’s ethereal, delicate pinks and flowers. This time around it was all about folk and fairytales. It made me feel like I should be in the middle of a forest with Goldilocks and the three bears, or something along those lines. This dress that Aya Jones wore was beautiful, or maybe it is just Aya that makes anything look good. Furthermore, this dress looked like a painting – so stunning.
I loved the all-black palette at Costume National. This look, in particular, was minimalism at its finest, but let’s be clear, it wasn’t normcore. Normcore equals boring, minimalism equals sophistication.
I don’t even know if this is a coat or a dress, it probably could be both, but I love it. The colour is so gorgeous. This was at Blumarine.
Prada is making me feel conflicted. On one hand, I don’t love it and I think the reason for that is because I spent so long trawling the archives and falling in love with old collections (collections which this one looks nothing like…). On the other hand, it is pretty and feminine, and the use of the double-faced jersey to look like neoprene was pretty damn cool, but is it anything more than that? Prada’s sales have been stagnant recently so perhaps that is why this collection is a little bit safer than usual. One thing can be guaranteed though, come the September issues and this collection will be in all the magazines; it always is, so why would things be any different this year? I love these looks (x, y & z).
Jeremy Scott at Moschino was, as expected, fun. I think I’ve now realised that you can’t take it seriously, it’s all for amusement. It started with some puffa coats, then transitioned into Looney Tunes prints, then some blingy-denim, then teddy bears galore, ending with graffiti print gowns (which I loved). However, my favourite part of the collection was the teddy bear backpacks as they were just like the perfume bottle. You can get a vintage backpack on Etsy just now for around £420. I can’t wait to see this collection in editorials to be honest; fashion editors have a way of making Moschino look really good in print. And yes, you can shop the capsule collection already.
Roberto Cavalli was classic Cavalli, complete with leopard print and plunging necklines. I can’t wait to see Nicki Minaj in this collection, especially as she is the current face of the brand. I hope she wears this dress.
I think I’ve found a potential wedding gown at Ermanno Scervino, modelled by Jessica Stam who has walked a select few shows for the past couple of seasons. Look at the gown though, stunning!
The opening look at Trussardi was insane. It was a chocolate-brown leather coat, complemented perfectly by a lipstick in a similar shade. I really liked most of this collection to be honest, very wearable, unfussy clothes for everyday life.
Finally, I urge you to look at the Ter et Bantine collection as it is brilliant.