Milan Fashion Week always delivers the theatrics. This season seemed especially exciting since the Italian designers have been reigning over fashion with exciting individualism for the past few seasons. Here are a few that, in my opinion, are can't-miss collections.
In just one year as Gucci's creative director, Alessandro Michele has made genius strides in creating the eccentric Gucci woman, making the brand's show the most anticipated at fashion week. This season's collection featured a mash-up of styles and characters that seemingly have nothing to do with one another: retro varsity stripes, Ziggy Stardust suiting, veils over 80s glasses, global influences like turbans and mandarin collar dresses. The list goes on and on, but the moral of the story remains. The Gucci woman is any and everything she wants to be, sometimes all at once. And that continues to be very exciting.
Miuccia Prada carried the individualist torch on with her most recent collection, which had a ladylike 50s charm with a world travelers vagabond spirit. Rich textures, like brocades, velvets, silks, furs, even denim, were accented with standout accessories, like the lace-up boots, half-corset belts, and change purses hanging from the neck and waist. Overall, the vibe is rich, romantic, and adventurous.
The structural innovation award goes to Consuelo Castiglioni of Marni for her balloon sleeves, half moon hems, and cocooned crops. The play on proportion and the overall roundness of it all gave a fresh look at the modern romantic. A study in the richness of primary colors, especially when paired with a deep burgundy lip, this collection speaks to the modern art lover in the most manicured, classic way. It's strange, it's chic, and it's wonderful.
Karl Lagerfeld created waves in a sea of ruffled accents for this season's Fendi presentation. There were undulating yokes on blouses, ruffled trim on thigh-highs, wave-patterned furs, and even a short navy cocoon coat was cut into 3-D circles, like radiating ripples on a pond. All of the frills created an aesthetic that is feminine and fun. But while the waves may have stolen the show, it is also important to note the wonderfully unexpected color combinations and the slew of bags that, I'm sure come fall, will have "it" written all over them.
Dolce and Gabanna's Domenico and Stefano are your official fairy godparents of fashion this season. By taking everything overtly girly and whimsical and then cranking the volume up to 100, they have created a wonderland of a runway show that is energizing, uplifting, and unapologetically over-the-top. I could look at this collection over and over again and still find new things to get excited about. The lesson in this fairy tale: More is more, literal is good, and adults can still play dress up whenever they like.
Some more worth checking out...
The perfect coats and cool stripes at Max Mara.
The best of pajama dressing at Alberta Ferretti.
The crazy combinations (and great fringe earrings) at Dsquared2.
The statement prints and artful mixing at MSGM.
The coolness of remaining true to oneself at Giorgio Armani.
The gorgeously textured 70s rock concert that was Roberto Cavalli.
The freshest color palette at Versace.