Milan Fashion Week projected a decadent, fashion-forward future. Italy’s designers honed their craft in decade-inspired collections filled with color, optimism and a sense of nostalgia. This renewed sartorial vigor is a much needed lift from other recent seasons, promising a horizon of revived enthusiasm for the fun and flirty potential that fashion can offer.
Dsquared2 brought us back to prairie-chic ready-to-wear with blouses, leather jackets and jeans paired with lace up booties. Meanwhile, Giorgio Armani‘s rose inspired collection of satin dresses, crocheted jackets and ballooning skirts played on a pretty-in-pink theme: strutting in kitten heels, models were both flirty and sexy in pale pinks against dark blacks and metallics. Over at Pucci, Peter Dundas maintained his ascending success via printed dresses reworked with sexy fringe, lace embellishments and skin-baring cutouts.
In sharp contrast, Alberta Ferretti showed us that color comes back this fall with bright electric blues, reds and purples set in dizzying yet sensible prints. Models in velvet thigh-high boots showed us that daywear easily transitions to nightwear with the simple addition of floor-gazing caftans that revealed moments of flesh slipping on and off the shoulders. Likewise, Brioni used bright fuchsias, regal purples and blacks with furs and textured skins to offset the saturated colors. Camel-colored pants and skirts were tailored exquisitely and popped amid their exotic counterparts. Meanwhile, Albino took to the traditional sense of the cold season to come with tweed dresses and side pockets for a relaxed and utilitarian fit. Later, party dresses with dashes of color were paired with skinny black pants and houndstooth coats.
Aquilano.Rimondi brought us back to everything ’50s and ’60s with feminine shift dresses in oranges, golds and yellows. The collection combined textures and treatments to give an au courant representation of the trendy mod era. Bottega Veneta opened with ’60s-inspired bouffant updos on models, mohair knee-length coats and t-strap sandals, and later showed sumptuous corset evening gowns of a fairytale flair. For an even farther look back, Miuccia Prada’s womanly figures from last season turned into ’20s-era flapper silhouettes in innumerable drop waist coats.
Dolce & Gabbana showed that menswear androgyny is still mysteriously sexy when worn just right. Models walked in double-breasted blazers tailored to such perfection that they almost looked like second skin. Oversized blazers were paired with corset and lace dresses and pops of color were seen peeking through the layers and extra fabric of star geometric shapes. D&G was all about everything ’80s-inspired and even Madonna’s “Vogue” played in the background. With neon tones, alphabet prints, plastic jewelry and wedge sneakers, D&G dressed models in billowed sweaters, pencil skirts, leggings and body-wrapping tube dresses. It was everything young and kid-friendly, while remaining futuristic and sporty: too-cool-for-school meets girl next door.
Gianfranco Ferré also keyed the trend with pencil skirts and sleek over-proportioned jackets with a certain level of sleek tailoring and pocket detailing. Francesco Scognamiglio revived Old Hollywood in his fall collection, which has already attracted celebrities like Lady Gaga and Rihanna. With power suits and sharp shoulders, long sleeved gowns and thigh-baring slits, Francesco says his recent collection is his “favorite collection in the last ten years.” Trussardi 1911 similarly channeled the wardrobe of an old world jetsetting Hollywood star with equally glitzy animal skin and fur.
At Marni, printed coats and skirts matched as a suit jacket and pants would. Pieces were cohesively put together without a fuss. The collection was clean and crisp with confident colors like emerald greens, blues and plaid-esque variations. Marni’s models wore platform heels to elongate the effect of layers upon layers of flirty and long lines. Maurizio Pecoraro preferred to do a presentation rather than a show for his fall collection where he focused on mixing furs, minks, fox and mohair in beautifully constructed jackets du jour. His attention to detail is most notable in this collection as he used beading and weaving to intricately embellish his standout pieces. In semi contrast, Jil Sander‘s modernist collection used black as a backdrop to floral printed pieced, colorful dresses with coocoon-like shapes and nipped waists, all of which were embellished with pleats, bands and folds in elongated hems.
At Versace, Donatella certainly pulled from Gianni’s archives with their house signature emblem exaggerated and blown up on shift dresses. The gold flower vine design boldly popped against solid blues, purples, greens and blacks. The collection had all the trimmings of military-meets-elegance. Meanwhile, Donatella and Christopher Kane’s Versus collection penned the confident “girl all grown up” look with boned corsets and sheer, midriff-baring waistlines. It was dominatrix-meets-ethereal glam, but the youthfulness of the brand was reiterated with high hemlines.
By far the most captivating collection yet, Gucci’s 90th anniversary show featured feather-brimmed fedoras, ombre furs, python and patent leather detailing mixed with elegantly crafted shrugs, scarves and jackets. Mounds of fabric made up evening dresses and even the models briefs matched the sheer overlay of fabric. A mod nod to the ’70s pin-up girl indeed, Gucci’s collection was perfection at its finest as the foliage of spring flowers trickled down goddess chiffon dresses.