Your one-stop catch up of all the news from the catwalks at Milan Fashion Week, with key shows and emerging trends.
Dolce and Gabbana offer something for everyone
Italian duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana sent out a collection that catered to every Dolce and Gabbana fan. There were the statement-making military jackets that opened the show, encrusted with embroideries and embellishments, fringing and tassels for those big spending shoppers who like to make a splash.
Signature cocktail dresses and summer slips were also there for the pair’s elegant fans. They came with classic wasp waists and covered in florals - which appeared as larger than life photo real blooms of roses and sunflowers – as well as a range of Italian delicacies, including twirls of spaghetti and flounces of fusilli pasta, gelato cones and fruity cocktails.
At the other end of the shopper spectrum, statement embellished denim jeans, sporty trainer shoes, polo shirts and printed D&G logo T-shirts will all appeal to the brand’s younger audience.
A sense of sport at Versace
Donatella Versace picked up where her spring 17 menswear collection left off, continuing with its light and sporty focus on sexy activewear.
There were lightweight technical hooded parkas, the same nylon fabrics reworked into mini-dresses that came cinched sexily around the body with functional draw-strings. Athletic skinny leggings and tight tops continued the nod to sportswear.
There was also more of a focus daywear, with cropped jackets and casual dresses, athletic over the head tops, sweaters and shirts spotted throughout.
Classic red-carpet stunners and event-ready outfits were also on show, in glistening chainmail, body sculpting asymmetric shapes and sharp as you like skinny tailoring, with the signature after dark wardrobe looking as strong as Donatella’s fresh daytime offering.
Refined, modern classics herald 50 years of Bottega Veneta
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This year marks the 50th anniversary of Bottega Veneta, and the brand’s spring collection provided a suitably refined and classic homage to its heritage, while retaining a sense of structured modernity throughout.
Luxurious tailoring, structured outlines and suiting, alongside demure tailored gowns and leather dresses created sense of sophisticated, grown-up chic, all underlined by a smartly tailored outline. Classic shapes such as trench coats, suits and blazers were presented in slightly oversized shapes and gave the collection a sense of modernity in spite of its overwhelming focus on heritage design. The tones of the collection were mainly muted and cool, with occasional soft pops of colour appearing in burned orange skirts or strawberry pink dresses and jumpsuits.
Both menswear and womenswear were presented on the catwalk, both tied closely together with similar pieces appearing in both men’s and women’s looks.
In celebration of the anniversary, as well as his 15th at the house, head designer Thomas Maier resurrected 15 different bag designs from the Bottega Veneta archives, repurposing them for the modern catwalk. When paired with the muted tones and tailored silhouettes the overall effect was one of sophisticated, bold and modernised classics.
Giorgio Armani’s midnight glamour
Relaxed, evening elegance was the overwhelming aesthetic of Giorgio Armani’s spring collection. With floaty, fluid fabrics and softly draped shapes, paired with tones of midnight blue and shimmering metallic, the collection held the feel of romantic, feminine chic.
Patterns in the collection were soft, watercolour florals and swirls, which were paired with muted metallic pieces to give the collection a soft, moonlit glow. Shapes were slouched and soft, with longline draped shorts and nightgown inspired dresses, sheer accents and tassels added to the sense of a relaxed, ethereal femininity.
Key pieces included the shimmering midnight blue pyjama suit, as well as the puffed sleeve babydoll dresses and sheer navy trench coat. Armani showed its men’s collection alongside its women’s, which, in comparison was far more structured, with tailored jackets appearing in the muted blues of the collection as a whole – which underlined the after-dark aesthetic of the collection as a whole.
Saddlebags and volume at Marni
Voluminous, cocoon silhouettes dominated this season’s Marni catwalk, with exaggerated proportions throughout the collection. Shoulders were bold and rounded, sleeves grazing the thighs and dresses featuring step hems and layered lengths.
The key focus for the collection however, came in the form of the accessories, specifically, the saddle-style bags slung around the waists. The bags almost appeared as oversized pockets adorning the hips of coats and jackets, and added a luxe utility feel, as they came in tweeds, pastels, florals and clean crisp whites – perfectly co-ordinating the garments underneath.
Despite this utilitarian detailing, the majority of the collection was characterised by a minimalistic aesthetic. With matching block colour separates and sleek shapes synched in with co-ordinating belts and accessories so that each look adhered to one dominant colour.
Shot through the collection were occasional bold florals, in magnified proportions and bright colours. The final looks of the collection also utilised patterns, featuring delicately marbled designs, similar to those seen at Pucci and also seen in London at the likes of Christopher Kane.
A dose of classic Prada
Times have been tough at Prada recently, which might explain this focused and colourfully commercial collection for spring 17. In some ways it felt like a run through of its signature sellers, offering a complete Prada wardrobe of classic Prada quirk and retro appeal.
It opened with a nod to Miuccia’s minimal past, with a simple black vest and matching knee length wrap skirt – simple, sharp and wearable.
There were appealing trench coats given a Prada update via a wiggled side fastenings on the hip and oversized rubberised tabs. Sporty bombers and Harrington jackets came in colourful checks and squidgy leathers, alongside wide lapelled blazers and a range of wrap skirts, fastened with more oversized rubber tabs. Simple wool cardigans featured another take on wrap front details topped smart wide collared shirts, while matching patterned tops and cropped trousers had a pyjama air to them.
Miuccia’s eccentric touch appeared in the eye catching graphic prints and patterns in retro colour combos, via the mini bralets worn over shirts and plumes of marabou feathers, fluffing up cuffs of sleeves and trousers, running up the slits of skirts and decorating a range of footwear and accessories.
Girlish whimsy with a twist at Fendi
Lagerfeld’s spring collection for Fendi exuded the brand’s now signature sense of playfulness, with ruffles, delicate florals and bright bold stripes combined with balloon sleeves and trousers to create a sense of girlish whimsy.
The collection had a sophisticated undertone punctuating the sense of doll-like sweetness, with a relatively muted palette of grey, navy and soft rosy pink shot through with colourful accents and bold patterns. Suiting also featured, but given a spin of youthful daring: tailored blazers with puffed sleeves and nipped waists were paired with miniskirts or sheer chiffon midis. Stripes were also a key feature of the collection, from humbug to deckchair, with jumpers, jackets, dresses and shirts all featuring an interpretation of the motif. A particular highlight was the fuzzy fur bumblebee gilet.
The overall tone of the collection was however a sense of youthful sweetness with baby pink, doll-like dresses and childish bunches in the model’s hair. However, rather than appearing sickly sweet, Lagerfeld’s collection held a Lolita charm, with the appearance of innocence shot through with an undercurrent of darkness.
Moschino plays dress up
Jeremy Scott is never one to play by fashion’s rules and this season his Moschino collection once again took an ironic and esoteric approach to the catwalk, in a show with a two-dimensional twist.
Inspired by childhood paper dolls with clip on clothes, Scott’s show was part optical illusion part theatre, many dresses had protruding white tabs – to “attach” the clothes to the models/dolls – while others presented classically Moschino items in totally two-dimensional form lying flat and drawn rather than being sculptured out of three dimensions. Other dresses featured false flashes of skin, giving the illusion of lingerie or a specifically placed arm.
Moschino capitalises on a strong brand identity and sense of fun, with a wry, sarcastic eye, and this collection took both of these to extremes. Many pieces were derived from the Moschino archives, with the iconic Moschino belt featuring strongly throughout. While the collection was quirky and certainly an interesting commentary from the ever-aware Scott – there were very few pieces in the collection that seemed realistically wearable. It may have been clever and typically fun, but this season Scott seemed to favour theatricality over innovative design.
Pucci’s bold, block brights
If it had seemed the dominant trend from Milan so far was maximalism, with Gucci and Cavalli presenting looks dripping in adornment, then Peter Dundas’ collection for Pucci came in stark opposition.
That by no means says the collection was simple, but rather than focusing on exaggerated embellishments, Dundas used clean shapes and super-bold block colours to make his impact. Vibrant blues, yellows and pinks clashed together on willowy, fluid dresses, with acid brights paired harmoniously yet boldly with contrasting colours – azure-blue paired with vermillion, lilac pink set together with egg yolk yellow.
As the collection progressed, the bright, block colours turned into marbled stripes, redolent of swirled paint or mellifluous animal prints and then into dripping block stripes – which again clashed bold colours together for immense visual intrigue.
While the focus was dominantly the colour of the collection, the shapes and silhouettes were no less interesting. Long sleeved semi sheer gowns were delicately draped and wrapped around the body, with shirts, jackets and shorts all pulled together with twisted detailing alongside clean-cut outlines which allowed the colours and prints to remain the focus.
Roberto Cavalli’s bohemian luxe
A parade of 1970s bohemian styling, with influences appearing to stem from westerns to rock stars – this season Peter Dundas’ Cavalli girl will be adorned in clashing bold patterns, fringing and capes, with a typically luxurious spin.
Ruffles, layering and ombre fringing added to the luxe hippie aesthetic, with garments draped over each other giving a romantic, slouched silhouette. Bold colour and patterns were accented with intricate home-spun embroidery, and looks were finished with skinny scarves and extravagant capes.
Key pieces included the sweeping floor length cape, orange velour trousers and typically Cavalli V neck dresses, with hip level cut-outs and a lace up front.
Maximalism chic at Gucci
The maximalist aesthetic that Alessandro Michele has brought to Gucci showed no sign of dimming at the brand’s spring 17 catwalk in Milan. Vintage floral prints were clashed together with glistening sequin details, ruffles, sheers, silks, leathers and military styling, in a collection which highlighted Michele’s dramatic, kitch layering of influences with a theatrical sense of excess.
Despite the emporium of inspirations, the success of such exaggerated looks came from the intricacies of their details. Luxurious, golden dragon embroidery gilded dresses and jackets, intricate pleats cascaded over dresses and looks were finished with glistening bow ties and loose silk scarves.
Metallics and sequins played a key role, with sequinned separates and capes, glittering metallic skirt suiting and disco-ball pencil skirts all appearing in the collection. Relatively muted in comparison were the silk pyjama separates and tailored pieces, which were presented in shimmering jewel tones, but still adhered to Michele’s luxuriously bold aesthetic. Running throughout the collection were signature Gucci adornments, with red piping on jackets and numerous items embellished with the monogrammed GG – acknowledging the commercial potential and impact of the Gucci branding.
The styling at Gucci is sometimes so opulent and excessive that the looks on the catwalk seem impossible to translate to real life. However, with his focus on intricate, contrasting prints and elegant embroidery remaining a key theme of the new Gucci aesthetic, the less extreme elements of the collection will continue to filter to a high street audience.