The Best of Milan Fashion Week: Versace Reigns! Missoni and Etro’s Big Anniversary! Plus, Moschino Ponies Up!

by Paige Reddinger

Versace Spring/Summer 2018

To say that Versace’s show was THE moment of fashion week would be an understatement. After sending out look after look of Versace’s greatest hits over the years, the show closed with Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Carla Bruni Sarkozy, Helena Christensen, and Cindy Crawford perched on pedestals against a smoky backdrop in Versace’s iconic metal mesh dresses from the mid ’90s. Each looked as svelte and iconic as they did in their heyday. One of the first looks was worn on Kaia Gerber, Crawford’s mini-me 16-year-old daughter who breaking out into her own in the spotlight. The fact that the two can walk the runway together is a true testament to the duo’s incredible genetics.

On a sadder note, this year marked the 20th anniversary of founder Gianni Versace’s murder in Miami Beach. Sister Donatella Versace has been carrying on the family legacy ever since, and chose to mark the occasion in a brilliant tribute to her late brother and the iconic designs of the house. All of the most recognized looks from the ’90s were there including the baroque, Warhol, butterflies, metal mesh, Vogue, Icons, and more. In a time in which the industry is fixated on ’90s designs, the moment was perfect to celebrate Gianni’s best work.


Prada Spring/Summer 2018

“Militant women” was said to be the inspiration behind Miuccia Prada’s show this season, but it came off entirely less menacing than it sounds. While the current political climate has been inspiring a slew of designers to think about empowering women, Miuccia’s take at Prada was, unsurprisingly, one of the most interesting musings on the matter. Overly feminine wide floral baby doll dresses came worn over buttoned-up collared shirts and suit pants, deconstructed menswear toppers were paired with mini skirts or shorts, and dress coats came with scrunched sleeves to suggest her woman was planning to get her hands dirty. Prints were inspired by female cartoonists and manga artists, which were a subtle and clever jab at current cartoonish male political figures (stateside and elsewhere). But overall, there were some seriously cool pavement pounding looks along with some creeper-inspired footwear that are sure to be the must-have accessories of the season.


Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer 2018

That’s amore! Dolce & Gabbana presented its “Queen of Hearts” collection this season, which was all about love—a message targeted at the millennials perched front row. Here’s to hoping for a better future. Just the evening before, the designers staged a show of their latest evening looks for clients and their sons and daughters, some of which were wearing the light-up tiaras from Spring 2016. That said, the designers served up plenty of fun social media-primed looks including a goldfish printed dress, a literal Queen of Hearts ensemble, some funky colorful straw hats with rose printed leggings, a zebra chiffon dress with sunglasses whose lenses were giant faux flowers, and most fun of all…a silk pajama set with baby chicks and lemons (sweet and sour), because, why not? If spreading the love means having this much fun, then l’amour will be viral in no time.

Moschino Spring/Summer 2018

Biker babes in My Little Pony tees. What’s not to love, really? Jeremy Scott’s childlike joie de vivre was in full-force this season. The girls on the runway were not even born when the My Little Pony cartoon first came out, but they managed to channel their spirit anyway. Young fillies like Kaia, Gigi, and Bella trotted out in full-blown tutus adorned in feathers and topped off with biker jackets. The ponies, for those of you that can remember, had to fight for survival against witches, trolls, and goblins, and Scott’s show ponies were certainly no wallflowers either. Taking inspo from “cutie marks,” the picture-like symbols located on the ponies’ haunches inspired the latter part of the show. Out walked Anna Cleveland as a tulip, Cara Taylor as a callalily, Joan Smalls as an upside down bouquet of roses, Vanessa Moody surrounded in butterflies, and Kaia and Gigi, who closed the show as two flower bouquets. Optimism was the final word here.

Tod’s Spring/Summer 2018

On the other side of the spectrum, Tod’s did “casual” with all of the utterly rich subtleties for which it is known. Take a white windbreaker style shirt tucked into a matching wrap around skirt with a high-slit and a pair of Tod’s loafers, which exuded the kind of elegance expected of blue-blooded women. Sporty pieces, like an anorak (in full leather) on Caroline Trentini, have never looked quite so luxe while looking so relaxed. But for those wanting to flaunt their wealth a little more visibly? A Dijon mustard colored shiny leather ensemble on Chiara Leone should do the trick. But surely a ‘90s moment must exist! Indeed, Kendall Jenner opened the show in a kerchief halter.


Etro Spring/Summer 2018

Etro is celebrating half a decade! To usher in its 50th, brother and sister Kean and Veronica Etro began the show with a clean slate of all white looks before delving into the luxe prints in the rich color palette for which they are known. An Indian motif was at play, borrowing from takes on traditional attire like saris, the ancient pinecone motif, and Sherwani-cut robes. But there was also a nod to India’s British rule with Cricket jumpers and jodphurs. The collection was tinged with nostalgia, but leapt forward in the white pieces, which proved the house’s excellence in design regardless of their talent for color and pattern.


Roberto Cavalli Spring/Summer 2018

It’s a new era at Cavalli. After the departure of Peter Dundas, who seemed to be Cavalli’s most obvious successor, the house tapped Paul Surridge, a menswear designer who has held roles at minimalist brands like Calvin Klein and Jil Sander. Choosing an unexpected behind-the-scenes designer has proven to be enormously profitable for brands like Gucci, and here it would appear that Cavalli might have just embarked on a bright and rather sleek new path. Surridge rid the Cavalli runway of all the slink and overt sex appeal and instead used elements of the brand’s DNA—most visibly the zebra print—and toned it down by accenting sophisticated and elegant silhouettes with the pattern that screamed a certain kind of confidence that didn’t include flesh flaunting. The eveningwear that did expose some limbs or mid sections did so through mesh or with contrasting long sleeves. While we applaud, only time will tell whether or not Cavalli’s longtime clientele will also wish to clean up their act. In the meantime, a whole new list of deep pockets will likely be taking note.

Bottega Veneta Spring/Summer 2018

Bottega Veneta will be opening its biggest store in the world on Madison Avenue in January, so window-worthy clothes were top of mind for Tomas Maier this season. There was an emphasis on punkish embellishments, like grommets, on ladylike attire, such as a checked skirtsuit or an A-line dress coat. A lavender suede coat accented in grommets was particularly eye-catching. Plus, he played with fringe like a sexy little mini dress worn on Bella Hadid. And surely the white evening gown adorned in colorful studs on Heejung Park is the kind of thing born for red carpets and extraordinary closets alike.

Missoni Spring/Summer 2018

It was a season of anniversaries in Milan and the Missoni clan was celebrating Angela Missoni’s 20th year at the helm of her parents’ business. Next year will be the brand’s 65th anniversary. Expect the retrospective collection to hit in 2018. Meanwhile, this season Missoni was toasting celebrations in general. These were clothes made to own the party. The sheer dresses in bright hues that opened the show were worn over thigh-high stockings (a major trend in Milan). The sparkly lurex dresses had a second skin appeal for those brave enough to wear as shown. The hats that accented these looks were an even braver accent and will surely be a fought over item for editorials. But naturally, it was the thickest of knits with the most intricate patterns that were the most covetable pieces in the collection like an almost camo-like multi-colored strapless gown or a kaleidoscopic triangular check print coat. If Angela Missoni’s 20 years are a prelude to the 65th anniversary, there’s plenty to look forward to.

Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini Spring/Summer 2018

There have been countless iterations of mariner-inspired attire on runways for decades, but Lorenzo Serafini’s interpretation was utterly unique in that it put an edgy spin on the classic genre. Stripes were done on a particularly lustworthy Japanese jumpsuit with a pearl adorned sash. Other mariner striped pieces came with pieces like leather water waders or a leather studded belt. The show closed with models in breezy white dresses to the tune of Culture Club’s “War Song,” making a case for peace however the tide may turn. In Serafini’s case, the tide will be in his favor as these clothes sail smoothly into closets around the globe. There was hardly a look not worth coveting.

Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2018

Lucie and Luke Meier made their debut at Jil Sander this season. The duo had previously worked at brands like Dior and Supreme making for an interesting combined design perspective. The collection played true to Jil Sander’s minimalist aesthetic with long white gowns made from men’s shirting and overcoats made from suiting. But the vibe was romantic, not stern. Even a leather pleated shift dress was adorned with lace at the hem and a select burst of color was inserted into the collection for a breath of fresh air including a stunning sky blue checked, sheer turtleneck gown. It was a bright and somewhat cautious debut by the Meiers, with signs that they may be willing to spread their wings in the future.

Marni Spring/Summer 2018

Francesco Risso let his creative flag fly this season and it paid off. Inspired by gardens through the eyes of Tim Burton, an exciting jumping off point, the collection was at once punk and prim just like Burton’s heroines. There were sculpted cage-like tops with sweetheart necklines and ‘50s length skirts with undone hems. Sumptuous ‘20s drop waist furs came in electric pink or were worn like robes meant for the boudoir. The latter were fantastically sexy in the suggestiveness. Oversize proper polos were paired with silky raver pants while delicate and ethereal lingerie-inspired dresses closed the show. “I knew who I was this morning, but I’ve changed a few times since then,” said Alice in Alice in Wonderland. For Risso, it pays to be a bit mad.

MSGM Spring/Summer 2018

Massimo Giorgetti is able to focus entirely on his own collection now that he no longer has Pucci as a responsibility, and the collection this season reflected the weight off his shoulders. There was a sense of fun and optimism in his tie-dyed knits or in his exuberant baby doll dresses in white ruffles, one worn with an ’80s windbreaker, or in a red crumpled vinyl. A grapefruit pink plaid denim ensemble or a watercolor print pajama look rounded out this entirely Instagramworthy collection.

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