Fashion Week, Shows

Milan Fashion Week Highlights – Spring 2016

To quote the Zombies, it’s the time of the season when love runs high – said love being mine towards Italian fashion. We have finally reached Milan (often my favourite city of fashion month). I adore Italian fashion and although I’ve never visited, I adore Italy. I think I definitely look at the country through rose-tinted glasses and just see the beauty – the art, the scenery, the architecture, the people.

Italian fashion usually emphasises glamour but each designer has a different interpretation of this word: Donatella Versace’s is very different than Mr Armani’s. That’s what I look forward to each season, seeing the myriad ways that one can dress and look put-together. There is nothing sloppy about Milan, that is for definite. Perhaps designers who show here have a very consistent image of a woman in mind, even though there are nuances which they do not agree.

I think Milan was a lot different this season than I expected though and perhaps it isn’t my favourite out of the three fashion weeks so far. One thing remains the same though, fashion designers want a woman to look and feel her very best. Isn’t that what fashion is about? Looking good and feeling fine? Another song reference… I hope you caught it.

ERMANNO SCERVINO

Ermanno Scervino was the first collection of Milan that I gasped at. The opening look was so stunning: a twisted halterneck top in pale yellow chiffon, an oversized trench coat in what looks like a cross between a heavy satin and neoprene, and a golden woven pencil skirt. Progressing from this, the collection continued in a similar note –  a duck egg blue coat with the same gold buttons, followed by a dove grey, then a sleeveless version which had a lingerie-like silky playsuit underneath. The chiffon halterneck was also repeated a few times itself, often in different ways (as a dress, underneath dungarees). I got the impression that the designer was trying to show us numerous ways of wearing one piece if you bought it. This dress was so cool, I loved the laser cuts, although the shoes didn’t go at all (but I loved them separately as they seemed very Indian inspired). The fabrics used throughout definitely gave me the impression that lingerie and perhaps a state of undress was on the designer’s mind, and actually a lot of designers during fashion month so far – lots of lace, satin, and silk. There was a full range of daywear and eveningwear with the collection giving the overall idea that this could work for all occasions and that there was something for everyone. I did like an awful lot of it, although I thought a couple of outfits were a little too Miu Miu to be on this runway.

VERSACE

You could tell after Raquel Zimmerman took her first steps onto the runway that this Versace collection would be worth paying attention to. Wearing a dark green blazer which was sharply belted with a black and camel belt featuring the medusa head in the centre, and a killer tri-colour bag in one hand, Raquel looked insane. It continued on a positive note and was an introduction to a military-esque boyish cool that you don’t often associate with Versace. I couldn’t actually pin a brand on these looks, but I know that I want to be a part of it. I loved the peep-toe shoes too which were also made to be clumpy and more masculine than you’d think a peep-toe would be. I also loved the bags. Versace is a brand I don’t often look at for accessories and I can’t think of a handbag of theirs which is carried as much as some other brands (think Celine and Givenchy mainly) but I really loved a lot of these ones. The camo print continued for a while but in bright tones. I adore these shorts which aren’t camo printed but continue in the same vein of colour. Honestly, if I had to summarise this collection in one phrase I’d say “New York”. Don’t you agree? The best Versace collection in a long time, Bravo Donatella!

DOLCE & GABBANA

The duo did what they do best, they celebrated Italy. Dolce & Gabbana are perhaps the most Italian of all of the designers that show in Milan, purely because they make clothes that could even be thought of as stereotypical. I think that is because they make clothes for what they think is the perfect Italian family. Unfortunately some of the comments made by the designers about what a traditional family is got them in a lot of trouble and this is the first collection that they’ve shown since. Judging by the turnout and online coverage, this hasn’t affected the brand much at all. This season, they showed their national pride, embroidering the names of cities on dresses and little images of men on gondolas and gladiators even! As usual, it was a beautiful, if not repetitive, collection. I don’t mind that from Dolce & Gabbana but I often do from other brands (double standards and rather ridiculous, I know). The models taking selfies whilst walking down the runway was a fun touch and actually produced some brilliant snaps, lots of which were shared to Instagram. I have to say though, if you looked at this collection in 10 years time, you probably wouldn’t be able to identify the season it is from based on the fact that it isn’t dissimilar to anything from 2011-present day. I’m a sucker for the brand though so I still love it.

And the rest…

I want Fausto Puglisi to take over at Versus Versace. I think I’ve said this before but his work reminds me so much of Gianni’s and I think that would work fabulously for the brand, although Vaccarello works too. I did love a lot of pieces from this collection although they gave me slight Balmain vibes at times. I want these two dresses, this one with the boots included (a birthday look perhaps) and also this dress.

I hate to say it but I haven’t got caught up in the Alessandro Michele hype. I prefer Frida’s Gucci. However, I did love this gauzy pink dress and also this trousers and belt combination. I bet that platforms will be back in a big way soon too.

Alberta Ferretti’s collection was stunning. It reminded me of sand dunes. The colour palette was so pretty and the clothes were floaty and girly. It was a more feminine version of your typical safari collection. This dress looks insane on Imaan Hammam and I love these looks – x (such cool sandals, I hope they trickle down to the high street by next summer), y, z.

I adore this emerald green trench coat at Emilio Pucci, but I miss the prints already.

MaxMara had lots of slouchy oversized jackets with a slight nautical theme – a far cry from the tousled glamour of Marilyn Monroe last season. I thought the wrongly buttoned-up jackets were a fun styling trick, meant to look effortless I’m assuming. I really liked this jacket and also this blazer (I have a similar one at home so I can easily recreate this if I want).

The very lady-like nature of Luisa Beccaria’s collection took me back to the aristocratic upper-class depicted in Baroque art. Think of the woman in Fragonard’s The Swing and the likes of her social set. I think it was the hats combined with the long, floaty dresses which gave me this connotation, but this collection is much more modern. These outfits are my favourites: x, y, z.

This dress at Antonio Marras reminded me of an enchanted forest. It is what I’d put Snow White in if I were making a new film adaptation.

When I look at a Prada collection I have to look at individual pieces instead of the whole show or I become overwhelmed. Miuccia puts so much out there and sometimes I struggle to comprehend it all. I liked how the skirts were layered, the stripes were clear, and the materials sheer – that was what I gathered from it all. Individually, I like the jacket and skirt  from this look, the coat and earrings from this one, and the entire outfit worn by Mica.

Karl Lagerfeld played with proportions at Fendi, demonstrated best in the oversized puffy sleeves of this khaki top which has a nice wrap-over front and this little playsuit is cute too. However, I don’t think the bloomer-type bottoms will catch on.

I really liked Costume National and actually seen a few pieces that I’d buy if I seen in a store – for example, this dress.

The hats made the show at Jil Sander, with this look being my favourite.

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