Charmani! That funny linguistic blend of words was the title of Giorgio Armani’s Spring 2017 show. So what is Charmani? “A neologism that captures the essence of a style that has its coherence rooted in continuous evolution. Charm, in the sense of elegance and sensuality, but also of magic and femininity,” according to a press statement from the brand. “Armani, in its sophisticated, natural spirit. Charmani: The lightness of the body, seductively revealing itself, finding a new balance between discipline and freedom.” The show opened with a series of shorts paired with Armani’s signature blazers and dress coats. There were, of course, all of the signature Armani blues that make up this runway’s color palette season after season, but the takeaway here was the fringe. Fisherman’s net fringe came on the straps of bags, the sleeve of a blazer, the arms of a dress. Fringed materials came via unfinished threads of an evening coat or the hems of a leather blazer. Just the classics here with a few extra tweaks, which is why Armani’s devoted clientele continues to be charmed by Mr. Armani’s timeless designs.
It feels like color has never been as prevalent on the runways as it has this season, or at least not in quite some time. What brand could be better for this moment than Pucci? Massimo Giorgetti took the season’s biggest trend and ran with it, debuting a mix of powerful prints and eye-catching solid colored gowns in turquoise, canary yellow, cherry reds, and bubble gum pinks. The first 10 solid-colored pieces in the collection (and yes, a couple of black numbers) are simple and wearable while packing a punch and should find their way into many closets. But for the more daring, more inherently Pucci customer, the prints will be the draw. Some came oversized in wavy patterns on skirt suits and others in a graphic black-and-white pattern. The color combo on a similar squiggly pattern on a lavender and orange coat really popped and would look wonderful when worn with white. The bodysuits that ran throughout the show were sexy and will pair perfectly with skirts, both sheer and opaque, for real life. And the closing numbers? Stunners, like a sequined grapefruit pink gown worn over a marigold body suit or a ruched marigold chiffon dress with a bodice of pink sequins. Giorgetti isn’t sticking to the classic Pucci patterns per se, but he is known for his way with color and pattern, and his own take feels fresh and of-the-moment.
Marco de Vincenzo
“I feel like I belong to the old guard of Italian designers,” Marco de Vincenzo recently told the Business of Fashion about his growing enterprise. “I’m not a designer-stylist, but a proper designer. I want to give women options, not looks.” While de Vincenzo’s collections are styled to the T—meaning that they are full of “looks”—when taken apart you may find that there’s a little something for everyone, from a demure ladylike print dress (in the past, Anna Wintour has been seen running backstage to, rumor has it, place personal orders) to much wilder pieces with electric colors and loud patterns. For Spring 2017, the designer was looking at postcards of the Riviera as the starting points for prints and an endless range of colors for every woman’s mood-changing whim. There were shiny surface treatments and fluid silhouettes contrasted with flats and sneakers and the occasional knit top and pajama ensemble…and that is what Vincenzo means by options.
Places, holidays, people, memories, scrapbooks, comfort leisure, rest, and warmth were the straightforward references Natasa Cagalj gave for her Spring collection for Ports 1961. Any editor running from show to show during the busy fashion week season (or any busy woman for that matter), should be intrigued by Cagalj’s manifesto for R&R. Models in striped pajamas carried folded reclining mats, giant beach bags looked ready for a daylong trip beachside, and roomy anoraks and easy skirts looked like just the thing for a summer retreat. The most constraining pieces in the collection? Body-con striped dresses (an overriding trend of the season), but even those were made in stretchy knits. For those that still have to trek to the office, a few easy tunics worn over pants will suffice until the long summer weekends come around.
Veronica Etro sent out a “gang of eclectic travelers” this season, according to show notes, but truthfully, that always seems to be the notion behind Etro’s luxe bohemian collections. So naturally, there were tribal embroideries, long maxi dresses, kaftans, sweeping duster coats, and Etro’s classic paisley print in psychedelic colors—Etro had been listening to Led Zeppelin, specifically the song “Kashmir.” The collection played to the usual codes of the house, but it was the striped pieces that really stood out. Stripes are having their moment on nearly every runway, and here they looked great in a boater hat, a sexy silk wrap dress, and on one of those floor-sweeping coats. And when worked into Etro’s signature patterns, the stripes added a new dimension.
Upon first glance, Sportmax’s Spring collection seems almost entirely inspired by anoraks and drawstrings, and while those are indeed elements that touch nearly every garment in the collection, it was Shima no Ama, a Japanese photo book by Kusukazu Uraguchi published in the ’80s, that was, in fact, the starting point. The book depicts pearl fishers at work on the shoreline looking for their treasures. That’s why the collection’s predominate palette includes creams, whites, deep navy, and inky indigo blues—magenta and bright reds, however, were thrown in to brighten things up, in keeping with the season’s most prevalent trend. Some of the most eye-catching pieces were the oversized anoraks printed with wave-like designs or the billowy gathered hem on an easy magenta day-to-evening dress.