Milan Fall 2014: Dolce & Gabbana, Marni, Bottega Veneta

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(NEW YORK) Dolce & Gabbana
It was a fashion fairy tale on Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana‘s runway. Stepping away from the ornate Sicilian references from previous collections, this season was all about fantasy of a different kind. Instead of giant gold coins as bling-y accents, Fall involved childlike appliqués of swans, owls, foxes, flowers, and birds perched on branches. Little Red Riding Hood would simply adore that rouge hooded fur with oversize pockets. Other looks, like an ornately beaded gold dress with matching boots and a matching medieval style hood, or a pewter brocade three-quarter sleeve dress coat with a similar silvery ornate beaded hood and armored boots, had a fiercer take on the fantasy. Flowing, floor-length floral chiffon dresses would be divine for any modern-day heroine with a sense of nostalgic reverie. The collection was a dreamy folkloric tale that does Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm proud.

There was a lot going on at Marni this season: tiered, ruffled, and sliced neoprene skirts with voluminous tops, boxy sweatshirts with zippers, and very cool drawstring zippered skirts made from windbreaker material, all of which catered to Marni’s sporty side. The house is also known for fur. This season involved some stellar pieces, like a calf-length multi-colored polka-dotted fur in white, cobalt, and peach, or a burgundy, cobalt, and white striped fur coat with a natural fox fur color. Stripes cropped up in turquoise, burgundy, and black on a felt coat, with a very painted-on effect. In fact, some pieces were so art-inspired, like the abstract work of German artist Magnus Plessen utilized as prints on silk shifts. The really intricate work was done in pieces that used everything from paillette beading and fur to feathers—and, lo and behold, a material that looked like grass. A grassy capelet with a fur back and a feathered collar was worn over a simple black turtleneck and a long military brown skirt. One complex layered look featured a navy blue fur shrug, burgundy top, ruffled light brown peplum, along with a drop waist skirt tiered in rhinestones and various kinds of feathers in navy, burgundy, and grey. Sure, feathers, fur, and grass may be a little to over-the-top for some. But there’s no doubt the pointy rubbery flats with metallic toes are going to be one of the must-have accessories this season, at the very least. It all delivered every bit of that quirkiness that Consuelo Castiglioni is known for and much, much more.

Bottega Veneta
Tomas Maier was inspired by puzzles this season, and that resulted in a runway packed with graphic patterns in a collection comprised mostly of dresses. In fact, there wasn’t a floor-length gown, pair of pants, or suit jacket to be found in this collection. I guess we know what’s selling chez Bottega. There’s no doubt Maier knows how to make a dress that women will swoon over. A black and cream pleated pencil dress’ pattern zig-zagged in all the right places, while the layered folds on a B&W dress with a swing skirt had a pattern of lines that fit together in just the right places. One charcoal frock sported painted white lines on the skirt to give the illusion of pleating. Meanwhile, a cream dress’ ruching was done in a haphazard but ultimately calculated way. And despite being one of the few non-graphic pieces in the collection, a peachy fur jacket with cut pleats at the bottom that opened the show was simply chic. Like a puzzle, it all fell into place.

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