The ability of designers in Milan to find commerce in creativity, cut through the noise and sieve the winners is what makes these brands so vital to the fashion system. So, what will we all be wearing next spring?
Which decade do you prefer? ’60s? ’70s? ’80s? The latter was served up in deliciously witty form by Jeremy Scott, a child of the ’80s. He based his collection on a recurring nightmare in which he rolls up to his show only to find there are no clothes. Hence his ’80s power suits were printed with furious pen marks, as if they’d just been dashed off backstage. One model resembled a giant pair of scissors, another a measuring tape, while two more held bolts of fabric that unfurled as trains as they swept down the runway.
Want a more romantic take on that decade? See Lorenzo Serafini’s Philosophy show for big-shouldered taffeta tops, polka-dot lace and high-waisted mom jeans. As for the ’70s, Donatella Versace’s opening looks – orange leather, print- clash stripes, checks and knee-high boots – will suffice.
And for a rule-breaking take on the polite codes of the ’60s, head to Prada. ‘I want to break the rules of classic,’ said Miuccia, who subverted the era’s stereotypes. Crisp shirts had peekaboo holes in the front, prim sweaters had holes in the back. ere were A-line skirts and gold-buttoned princess coats, high-neck tops and pedal-pushers.
Her favourite, she said, was the T-shirt dress a trapeze shape hemmed in duchess satin and embellished with jewels – and with that she brought the ’60s bang up to date.
What clothes? It was all about molto merchandise in Milan: bags! Shoes! Hats! Gloves! Earrings! Worn all at once! So, which brand did it best? PRADA. Back on form in every way, particularly in the accessories department, with the most unlikely front-runners: pop socks (trust me, they look crazily chic) and, please note: You. Will. Want. A. Prada. Headband. Make Miuccia’s chunky satin halos your crowning glory.
When it comes to bags, think twice about resembling a pack horse – as so many models did in Milan, weighed down by multi-bagging, the trend that got out of control. Most sophist? Look out for Tod’s new rendition of its classic D-Bag. Fendi also reissued its famous Baguette – lavishly embellished, of course – but the brand’s new utility tool belts are totally 2019.
Jil Sander, meanwhile, won in the biggest bag category with the most ginormous totes, closely followed by Alberta Ferretti’s swag bags. As for designer trainers, you know they’re not going away when everyone from Giorgio Armani (sparkling sock trainers) to Donatella Versace – think supermodels prancing on bubble soles – sends them down the runway. The most ridiculously luxurious, however, were found at Jimmy Choo: crystal-encrusted sneakers with diamond-faceted resin soles. They drop on 25 October and cost £2,795.
Homespun Is Sexy
Milan is traditionally full of polish and glamour, but such glitzy glossiness, all geared to be immaculately mass-produced, can sometimes feel soulless. How refreshing, then, to see two design houses serve up collections that had been crafted by human hand – glorious imperfections and all. Cue Francesco Risso at Marni, a hot talent whose show set was a fashion dormitory – we all sat on beds, the same bed as Anna Wintour, no less.
His collection looked as if it had been put together in an artist’s garret, not a clinical fashion studio, with raw canvas toiles, unfinished hems and the occasional scattering of grandma’s jewels. Leather coats were sploshed with paint and dresses naively printed.
Likewise, the Missonis, marking 65 years of masterful knitting, celebrated with a collection that put the human touch front and centre. Michael Nyman, who played piano in the background, may have lost his music in the wind (we were on a rooftop), but those delicate cobwebby knits never looked lovelier swishing in the breeze. Oh to be the woman with the bohemian lifestyle who slinks around in Missoni’s zig-zag knits.
All The Browns
Still here. And for good reason: if Milan is sticking with all hues of brown for next spring, it’s because you’ve been buying them. And we all know why: they look delicious and flatter any skin tone. The update is how to mix them. See Max Mara’s intermingling of beige, taupe, honey, khaki and pops of searing yellow – it works.
Ferragamo’s standout show used pink with olivey-brown. Fendi issued mouth-watering suedes in all shades of chocolate with punches of white. And new shade alert! Tod’s terracotta pink.
The Trench Reigns
Have designers turned meteorologists? They were surely telling us something about the weather, judging by all the rain macs and trenches. is is obviously brilliant news for us Brits. Most notable: Fendi’s plastic macs that opened the show.
The worst idea, right? Wrong. Somehow, weirdly enough, they look super-desirable. And by 2019, you’ll be ready to take them on. Think about it: what else to wear with all those designer trainers? What with athleisure so ingrained in our wardrobes, it was only a matter of time before they smacked of chic when worn with a tailored jacket. See Cavalli and Fendi.
Not your living room décor, your wardrobe, darling. Waistcoat-jacket-coat or double-jacketing is a ‘thing’. Ermanno Scervino nailed this.
The Big Moment
‘My name is Robbie fucking Williams. You may remember me from the early ’90s.’ So said the entertainer when he performed live at the Emporio Armani show – held, insanely enough, in a giant aircraft hangar at Linate Airport. The one that has displayed the designer’s name and logo since 1996 – lest anyone forget who’s boss in town. Oh, how the fashion industry loves to whinge about travelling too late at night and too far; but how privileged and spoilt we are!
Especially to be fast-tracked through security, champagne in hand, and sit comfortably on raised stands to see the action on the thousand-foot catwalk and giant video screens. It was quite a moment for Mr Armani, who sent forth men and women, some 170 exits, that at 80-something showed his tireless stamina for creating new and youthful looks out of his Emporio style arsenal. For the great democratiser, it was also a way of opening fashion up to the public – Armani devotees won tickets to the event, as did Robbie’s fan club.
The Best Cast
Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana closed the week and won the gong for best cast with an epic collection (over 150 looks) that brought us smiles, both on and, unusually, off the catwalk. They titled their collection DNA – as in the unchangeable, fundamental characteristics of each and every one of us.
True to form, they proved that whether you are of Ashley Graham or Carla Bruni proportions, the age of Isabella Rossellini or her grandson Ronin, straight or gender non- binary, you too will look good in their clothes. Because after all, as they said, fashion is for everyone. Amen to that.