Fendi and Roberto Cavalli, two houses that don’t stray too far from exoticism and ethnic detailing, were in step with the season’s trend, both showing a cool restraint when it came to piling on the accents. Fendi stuck to murky African color tones (brown, purple, rust) for jersey dresses, sophisticated tie die and day dresses that said chic holiday in colonial Kenya. Cavalli’s lemon and leaf prints on breezy cotton and chiffon dresses, sweeping floral peasant skirts and the requisite animal prints worn with low hanging, hand-worked leather and fur bags with fringing defined their (ahem) lighter hand with the theme. Both labels punctuated the ethnic story with mega wood bracelets and dripping neckpieces, part of the statement jewelry craze that’ll continue to grow beyond spring.
The hotly anticipated Alessandra Fachinetti, in her first turn for Gucci, besides showing a slew of jewelled tone jersey dresses, shiny satin pants, and killer bathing suit, hit an ethnic note with Indian silk safari jackets, feather fringed knitted skirts, and sumptuous bags mixing ostrich and crocodile. Kristen Mcnemany’s long anticipated return to the runways was one of the stories at Prada, but it was Miuccia Prada’s well received sporty presentation of peacock feather printed skirts, boho and rasta hats, and exotic detailing in that Prada color palette of deep purples, browns, and orange that had editors a-flutter.
Pythons slithered everywhere at Dolce and Gabbana, another Out of Africa inspired collection that mixed snakeskin with just about every other fabric. Nary a fashion house, including Anna Molinari, Etro, Max Mara, Antonio Marras and Riccardo Tisci (see interview below) in the city missed the ethnic trend. So don’t be surprised when you begin to see the display windows at Zara and H&M reflecting all things ethnic. It’s the dominant vibe for spring.
An aside to our Milan coverage is a report on the discovery of fashion’s latest photography duo, which by our estimates, show the signs of strong future talents. The busy-bodied team of Daniele Duella and Iango Henzi made their presence known in Milan, always book in hand, ready to wax on their strongly convicted take on pictures. Their technique involves no retouching — a virtual revolution in the industry — and a precision eye for form, styling and sculptural lighting that endears them to magazines and clients. Remember, you heard about them here first.
Photo: Fendi spring 2005
Gucci spring 2005
Daniele Duella and Iango Henzi photos