When Prada takes a new direction, everyone else takes note, and fall’s clean and minimalistic turn has many scribbling on sketchpads, desperate to emulate the unpredictable Miuccia. Maybe she sensed that we were getting too comfortable with the quirky and beautiful confusion of recent collections. Mostly black, beige and wine-based reds comprised the palette-cleansing show that focused on revealing the well-tailored garments rather than dazzling the eyes with kaleidoscopic prints and techie accessories. There were still prints on cinched jackets, and astrakhan coats played printed tricks on the eye. Some dresses were smart and sartorial and trimmed with well-arranged grommets; others were fluid and delicately decorated in shiny palliates. And all kinds of chic narrow skirts, mohair sweaters, and low-key bags and shoes rounded off one of the few winning collections in Milan.
Marni is another label that took a more-sober-than-usual path for spring. The Marni woman continues to play with layering, but designer Consuelo Castiglioni stripped much of the seemingly random pairing of prints and turned her focus to the solid separates that an obsequious retinue of woman will gobble up. Familiar but friendly belted A-line jackets, egg-shaped skirts, and flimsy tops — with only a hint of accessorizing in the form of woodcut necklaces — set the mood.
Last season it was snakeskin; for fall it’s furs galore at Dolce & Gabbana. Channeling Jean Shrimpton through current muse Chloë Sevigny (who opened the show), cool ’60s Britannia was evident in the Beatles caps, smoky eyes and piled-on-high blond manes. But there was no missing the fur story amidst distressed jeans, mini-skirts and sheer neckline dresses: the duo showed a variety of skins, including astrakhan suits, fox chubbies, and floor-length mink. Not to be outdone, Fendi furs were in full force, looking fresh in outsized proportions, cut extra-slim or used for chic trimming. Marni, Versace, and Roberto Cavalli all sent out a rollicking parade of befurred models to seal a big trend for fall.
Christopher Bailey has been sending confident looks down the runway for Burberry Prorsum’s men’s and women’s collections. And what has been refreshing about his direction are the serious takes on classic English signatures that somehow look as modern as, say, Kate Moss’s personal style. Precious empire-waisted dresses, plaid and structured satin skirts, delicate knits (that rival the ones that are a staple at Prada), military-looking coats with brass buttons and nylon jackets captured the Anglo aethetic, many of which are styled with cool fisherman caps, striped scarves and plaid boho bags.
Photos: Riccardo Tisci a/w ’05-’06
Prada a/w ’05-’06
Marni a/w ’05-’06
Burberry a/w ’05-’06