With fresh starts, farewells and verified trends, we round up the Milanese catwalks’ major talking points.
A new dawn at Gucci
Gucci’s new creative director Alessandro Michele unveiled his debut womenswear collection for the Italian megabrand on the first day of Milan Fashion Week. Appointed in January following the departure of its long-term designer Frida Giannini, Michele was a relative unknown, previously working behind the scenes as Giannini’s right-hand man. Moving away from the super-sleek, sexed-up look the brand became known for under former designers Tom Ford and Giannini, Michele presented a younger, eccentrically bohemian look. Pussybow blouses, boho printed dresses and romantic flouncy frilled trims lent an on-trend 1970s spin, while longer-length pleated midi skirts were layered under fur jackets or military pea coats that had a vintage, thrift store feel. There was androgyny too, with mannish loose trouser suits that mirrored the menswear offering.
Whatever Miuccia Prada does others follow, and the impact of her autumn 15 collection will be no different. It was her colour combinations that will trickle down, mixing typically spring colours with darker winter tones. Look out for her pretty pastels of bubblegum pink, pistachio green, baby blue and dusty lemon contrasted with darker shades of grey, green and mustard.
Giorgio Armani wears the trousers
Of the nearly 80 outfits that Giorgio Armani presented in his eponymous mainline collection for autumn 15, almost 70 of them featured trousers. From slim, tapered and slightly cropped versions through to a new overlapping wrap-front design, the 80-year-old designer, who celebrates 40 years of his business in 2015, firmly focused on that relaxed tailored trouser look that made him so famous in the 1980s.
Pucci Swansong for dundas
When Peter Dundas joined Emilio Pucci in 2008, the Italian house was known for its swirling, colourful prints above all else. Tasked with breathing new life into the label, Dundas set out his vision for a sexy, glamorous Pucci woman with minidresses, body-con silhouettes and daring cutaways. This season, his last for Pucci, was no different. A recurring astrological motif that put models in floor-length jersey dresses with intricate illustrations of their star signs alluded to the fact that Dundas is thinking about his future.
One to watch
Milan doesn’t often turn up a hotly tipped new designer, but Arthur Arbesser, shortlisted for this year’s LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designer, is exactly that. Born in Vienna, the Central Saint Martins graduate worked with Armani for seven years before launching his eponymous label in Milan in 2012, due to its unrivalled access to some of the world’s best textile factories. This emphasis on material came through beautifully in his collection by way of a shiny silver shirt and a luxurious wool coat with a sailor collar.
Capes had already been seen at Marc Jacobs, Burberry Prorsum and Giles, and after featuring in a number of Milan shows look set to be a key piece for autumn 15. DSquared’s were military-inspired, Dolce & Gabbana’s intricately embroidered, and Alberta Ferretti used fur trims.
Fur will be big news next season (both real and fake), having featured heavily in many collections including Michael Kors in New York and Roksanda in London. In Milan, it was spotted at Marni, Versace and Fendi, used on everything from outerwear and trouser trims to handbags and ankle boots.
The retro vibe that has dominated this season’s shows manifested itself once again in Milan, in Bottega Veneta’s 1970s-style flared trousers, Roberto Cavalli’s hippy maxi dresses and the 1960s mod miniskirt and polo-neck combinations at MSGM.