Milan Fashion Week Comes to an End: The Best of the Runway

by Paige Reddinger

TOD’S
A living sculpture by artist Thomas de Falco featuring models wrapped in leather and Naomi Campbell perched in the front as the centerpiece opened the show at Tod’s. The art installations pre-show at Tod’s are meant to highlight the house’s history of leather-making—last Fall, Karlie Kloss was the center of the performance as she was sewn into the brand’s signature camel-colored leather by artisans as she lay on a sort of operating table. For a house whose primary focus is leather accessories, a little dose of performance is needed to up the ante during fashion week. If anyone is capable of supporting such theatrics, it’s Tod’s owner Diego Della Valle. This season, the ready-to-wear’s crown jewels were in the outerwear. Tod’s version of a streetwear puffer jacket in leather is probably the most luxurious to-date. Ditto a sporty ski jacket version. But there were also more classic ensembles for the less adventurous Tod’s clientele—the kind that still needs the basic staples for their country manor. To that end, there were beautiful trench coats accented in leather and paired with all white and deep chocolate riding boots and mini pouch handbags that have swept the Milan runways. One can’t carry a handbag when mounting a Thoroughbred after all, darlings. And for the twenty- to thirtysomethings, there were plenty of leather pants, moto jackets, and even shirts cool enough to wear now, but they could easily carry these tasteful classics into their 40s.

TOD’S TIMELESS ICONS PARTY
Speaking of timeless pieces, Tod’s celebrated its Timeless Icons campaign in Milan at Villa Necchi on Tuesday with a release of the brand’s new book by the same name, which is out this March. Zhang Ziyi, Jourdan Dunn, and Mariacarla Boscono were just a handful of the timeless beauties featured in the tome who showed up to celebrate.

MARCO DE VINCENZO
Quirky chic! Marco de Vincenzo has fun mixing a wild array of prints and patterns, and he didn’t hold back this season. The most unusual and almost out of this world pieces—the kind that don’t look like anything else on the runways—were the fabulous dyed fur coats in dreamscape patterns and hues, or in a sky blue and forest green striped vest version. Pearl necklaces came encased in geometric shapes, and raspberry colored tights printed in a tree and leaf pattern had a sort of toile effect. There wasn’t a single element of these looks that wouldn’t be a conversation starter. What fun!

VERSACE
Equality, love, loyalty, strength, courage—all of the mantras of the current feminist movement were spelled out in Donatella Versace’s latest collection. Versace, of course, has made it’s name on sex appeal and while its “sex sells” agenda hasn’t always been a feminist one, there’s no doubt that Donatella herself is one of the businesses’ most widely known boss ladies. She is the diminutive doyenne of one of Italy’s biggest fashion empires, after all. This season, a rebellious punk attitude permeated the collection. Models had streaks of yellow, red, and blue hair dye and dark cat-eye liner. Even a punk pair of khaki Dickie’s style pants paired with a cropped sweater and moto jacket showed up on the runway—not the kind of thing you would expect at Versace, but somehow it still felt sexy. The outwear was exquisite, from the eggplant leather trench with lavender lapels to the navy fur with orange accents done with a luxe perforated leather lining. Puffers and beanies gave the requisite nod to streetwear, but those were naturally thrown over pieces like a very sheer dress emblazoned with “courage” across the chest. Indeed, it takes courage for women to unabashedly own their sex appeal, and for that, Donatella can be applauded.

BOTTEGA VENETA
There is a reason that designers return to the ’40s so often as an era of inspiration—the silhouettes were glamorous and they still make women look as timelessly chic as silver screen sirens. Puffed sleeves, strong shoulders, nipped waists, long gloves, high-waisted dresses, polka-dot sheer black tights, and even the waved hairstyles screamed of the bygone era.  Plus, the gun-mental column gown and the closing eveningwear pieces were so simultaneously simple and decadent, the Bottega clientele will have plenty of reasons to feel fabulous come Fall.

ANTONIO MARRAS
What a performance! Along with a killer collection rife with intricate vintage influences and a wonderful mix of patterns and colors, Marras enlisted an eclectic cast of models, young and old, to break out into passionate performances on the runway. A man and woman tossed each other around in an emotional encounter; some even carried potted plants as if they were polite house guests en route to a party. Marras took a bow while models ran around the runway, followed by his dog, Pierivo. The designer’s influences this season? Eva Mameli, a Sardinian botanist and academic, and Pina Bausch, a German dancer and choreographer.

BLUMARINE
Blumarine toasted four decades this season with a collection that, at its core, was fun. There were sequins, bright pastel knits, embroidered roses on lace, fur-trimmed necklines (and some very cool full fur coats for that matter), and layers and layers of chiffon. However, the sweatshirts emblazoned with the brand name paired with ripped skinny jeans that closed the show seemed thoroughly Italian and an entry-point item for twentysomethings eager for a taste of Blumarine. Brava on the milestone!

MISSONI
Angela Missoni is one very smart woman. Who better to create a slew of knit pink pussy hats in honor of the women’s movement that has been sweeping the globe than Missoni? But, of course! The designer placed versions of the knit hats on the chairs of guests and every model in the show wore them en masse for a show finale. And while fashion week is not over, this was surely one of the most memorable and moving moments of the whole season. The clothes were equally a success. There were beautiful striped and triangular printed fur coats and scarfs, striped knit dresses, and some standout suiting for stylish working women. A highlight was the check overcoat with a collar of black and white knit strands. The clothes were bright and powerful. During the show, Missoni told the crowd, “Let’s show the world that the fashion community is united and fearless.”

PHILOSOPHY DI LORENZO SERAFINI
“The Lovecats” by The Cure was one of the songs that set Serafini’s catwalk in motion. “We’re so wonderfully wonderfully wonderfully wonderfully pretty!” reads part of the songs lyrics. It’s an apt description for Serafini’s doll-like babes in all their frills and lace. Another lyric of the song goes, “We bite and scratch and scream all night.” Serafini’s woman might be pretty but she’s not soft. To wit: a white romantic lace blouse was worn under a black vinyl mini dress or with barely-there mini skirts and cozy knits (already on our shopping list for Fall) were paired with cigarette pants and  high-waisted floral briefs. Meow!

MSGM
Lara Flynn Boyle and Sherilyn Fenn circa their Twin Peaks fame were the inspiration for Massimo Giorgetti’s Fall 2017 collection. David Lynch is famously reviving the cult-classic this September. By then, Giorgetti hopes that his collection will ring a bell with both those who were teenagers in the ’90s and the PYTs that will just be sinking their teeth into Lynch’s teenage murder mystery. Everything from the graphic zig-zag patterns to the varsity jackets and tulle prom skirts were a nod to the series. The blue roses on a stellar hot pink vinyl coat thrown over a lime green suit? A “blue rose case” was the code word for a special FBI case investigated by Twin Peaks‘ Dale Cooper and Chester Diamond. But even if you’ve never seen the Lynchian treasure, the clothes alone may give you reason to discover why it’s constantly in everyone’s wheelhouse of references.

 

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO
It’s his second season at the house, and Fulvio Rigoni is playing it safe. For Fall, the silhouette was buttoned-up and filled with solids. There were ever so small hints of drama in fur collars, and folded waistlines on skirts. Outwear looks ranged from a cinched-waisted gray leather blazer to sleeveless puffers and a few chic sleeveless vest coats. There weren’t any looks that went wrong here, but a dose of fun could only do some good next season.

DOLCE & GABBANA

Dolce & Gabbana must have spent countless hours preparing for this season’s show, which featured 140 models of all different ethnicities, sizes, and ages. There were mother/daughter duos, girlfriends, boyfriends, sisters, It girls, royalty, and various celebrities from all kinds of genres. Each were apparently allowed to pick out their own look and accessorize themselves. How they got through that fitting process remains a mystery, but the result was a phenomenal tribute to diversity and inclusivity. Even more importantly—it was fun. Teddy Bear coats and slippers! Justin Bieber T-shirts! A fabric swatch coat! But mixed in were Dolce & Gabbana signatures like plenty of animal prints and sexy body-clinging black Sicilian dresses. An incredible orange jacquard suit on Sofia Richie stood out and was accessorized perfectly with a pair of canary yellow roses in her blonde tresses. There was also a chic rose-printed pajama set with a smoking robe. And Amanda Harvey looked gorgeous in a leopard print robe trimmed in fur worn over a cat print dress with her matching child in tow. The best part of this message was that the clothes looked just as great as they always did on the “real” models…that’s how you sell clothes, after all.

GIORGIO ARMANI
Classic Armani! There were ladylike cropped jackets in bright hues and a very cool cut leather version. There were billowy pants in silks and leathers. Outerwear ranged from a classic nip waist trench and brightly hued overcoats in combinations of cherry red and cobalt blue to a lustworthy neon green and black goat hair fur. The bright bursts of color continued into evening wear in looks like a chic one-shouldered multicolored sequin top paired with wide leg velvet pants. But the best look of the whole show was the multicolored beaded lamé evening dress with pockets, which was topped off with a black beaded head scarf. These were all looks for a woman of a certain age and price bracket that wants to look chic without suffering for lack of comfort, and with the wonderfully colorful hues that popped up throughout the show, they can head into the colder months brimming with optimism.

 

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