Milan Fashion Week 2016
Sashaying their way onto the catwalk this week is the crème de la crème of Italian Milan Fashion Week 2016. Nobody does glamour better than the Italians and this season, designers brought us more than enough. Collections seemed almost subdued – we saw mature and sophisticated pieces that offered classic Italian luxury that could feasibly translate from the catwalk to a cocktail bar. Where to start?!
Bottega Veneta celebrated 50 years at the top of the fashion game, and also saw Tomas Maiers 15th year as creative director – with two important landmarks to commemorate, there was no doubt the show was going to be breathtaking.. There was nothing ostentatious about the collection, rather, the collection was elegantly refined. Stars such as 72-year old Lauren Hutton, Karen Elson, Gigi and Bella Hadid and Eva Herzigova showed their faces, which was staged at the Accademia di Brera. There are few brands that accentuate multi-generational beauty, and the diversity of age in these show-goers proved that this is a brand that does.
Maier amalgamated the core values of the brand in a collection that exhibited “exquisite craftsmanship, timeless yet innovative design, contemporary functionality and the highest quality materials”
Artisanally crafted pieces united with innovation in the form of linen tailoring shaped with metal, a wearable colour palette of caramel and mocha, and luxe fabrics encompassed the core values of the fashion house to give a memorable and inspiring collection.
Following along the same lines as Maier in terms of wearability with a touch of opulence, Mrs Prada gave us one of the most commercial collections of the season – pieces could easily be stripped from the model and put right onto a Monday morning commuter. Tank tops, simple pleated skirts, updated trench coats all could easily be worn day to day, all with added ostrich feathers. Trouser cuffs, ankle straps and sleeves were decorated in extravagant plumes of feathers.
The Prada Fondazione show space transformed into an area that seemed to represent a clinically cold corporate environment, or, ‘work’. A silent short film by David O Russell (think The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle) named Past Forward played whilst women went about their day. In fact, amongst bomber jackets, cardigans and polo neck sweaters, the ostrich feathers were the only fanciful touch. It was widely reported that sales have been falling for the brand, and the collection certainly seems a nod to show how Prada still has a place in womens’ functional wardrobes.
Over at Versace, Sporty was the order of the day, and it’s not very often that you think of nylon anoraks when you think of Versace. Donatella stated “Sportswear is the future of fashion, to make it unique and luxurious is the challenge I took this season.”
“This is a collection that is all about a woman’s freedom… freedom of activity, freedom to fight for their ideas, freedom to be whomever you want to be.” Functionality that gives women the freedom to move, run, dance and work – lightweight fabrics got made to look like silk, zip up sports tops, and comfortable flat shoes all got the fashion crowd reaching for gym passes.
In stark contrast to the functionality seen at Prada, Versace and Veneta, Cavalli gave us bohemian playfulness, vibrance and hippie dreams. The venue was swathed with pinned fabrics and lanterns, much like a North African bazaar. The collection combined all the stereotypical aesthetics of the 60’s and 70’s – Navajo detailing, yellow Lennon sunglasses, flares, hippie braids and psychedelic swirls.
In another wearable and definitely sporty collection, design team head Fulvio Rigoni produced a floral and sugary sweet show at Salvatore Ferragamo– a very interesting take on sporty. A flowery tea dress with gathered neck that wouldn’t look out of place at a tea party teamed with sporty footwear and them, to keep us on our toes, we saw ruched pencil skirts with billowing Victorian silhouette shirts which brought a strange and unexpected ‘heritage’ vibe to the collection.