With SS 2017 Fashion Week’s having just finished up and collections always being shown 6 months in advance – something that some designers, e.g Tom Ford & Tommy Hilfiger are trying to change – I am going to recap my fabulous Milan Fashion Week experience in February this year, just as the pieces trickle themselves into magazines, online and in-store currently.
By chance, the Gedebe FW 16/17 Presentation was being shown in in our hotel, Hotel Straf. It was a small space, but was covered in gorgeous red rose petals, with all the shoes and bags giving off a decidedly Miley Cyrus (again?! after having just eaten a Miley gelato, she was popping up everywhere this weekend) vibe with extra jewels and humorous nods.
Legendary Japanese fashion designer Tsumori Chisato (Issey Miyake fame) produced a capsule collection for the ready-to-wear, plus-size women’s clothing brand of the Italian Max Mara Fashion Group, Marina Rinaldi. Presenting at the intimate, yet striking Teatro Arsenale in Milan, performance artist Claudia Losi also produced a performance for the brand around the premise “What my shape says”.
Marina Rinaldi posed the question to their fans with around 1200 sentences between irony and despair, collected in different countries (Russia, Holland, UK, France, and, of course, Italy). Meticulously the artist reported by writing the answers by hand, on coloured ribbons, which performers folded and stretched on the night. The ribbons were meant to symbolise and show the emotions and moods of the women who participated at this project of participatory art.
The performance was definitely a “stretch”, so decidedly girly Cosmopolitans were also distributed liberally around the space for those who were a bit lost by the concept.
On Saturday night, February 27th, 2016 I headed to the happening neighbourhood of Navigli for the Just Cavalli fashion presentation and party – the first show for Peter Dundas as artistic director of Roberto Cavalli’s more reasonably priced diffusion line.
Navigli is Milan’s equivalent of NY’s East Village about a decade ago before total gentrification took over, so it was only fitting that a warehouse space was used and dressed up with band posters like CBGB down on the Bowery, interjected with colours and model styling befitting even a few decades before that and the swinging 60’s Andy Warhol Soho Silver Factory era (in so far as referring to the party as the ‘Just Cavalli Factory’ on the invitation).
Indeed there was a few Edie Sedgwick clones spotted in the presentation, with the Cavalli muse indeed copying the original model muse herself (full circle irony there)…none more so than lead singer of British band Black Honey, who channeled Edie as well as self -proclaiming its lead singer, Izzy Baxter, as a new Debbie Harry for 2016.
The band played a 40-minute set as models circulated in late ’70s/early ’80s punk-meets–new wave clothes. There were printed one-shoulder party dresses, rhinestone-spangled jackets, lurex dresses and leopard-spot or fuchsia pink coats for the ladies and shrunken Perfectos, printed shirts, and super-skinny jeans for the dudes.
Overall the collection came down to lots of leopard print, lots of glitter and lots of fuchsia pink – a colour that would be prominent at the D&G show the next day.
As for the after party, while rocking out to Black Honey’s set, there was plenty to keep any jaded wannabe happy – an old school black and white photo booth, pinball machines, a silver glitter carpet to replace a mainstream red one, neon lights, old school band posters and strong cocktails – mixed by Peter Dundas himself, who showed his man-of-the-people side by playing barmen for most the night.
Guests also left with a lip print t-shirt from the new collection, complete with smoking motif, alluding to the 70’s where elicit activities were not so frowned upon perhaps? Definitely not in the smoky rock dens like CBGB that this collection was trying to evoke.
Dolce & Gabbana
Always theatrical, D&G is THE quintessential Italian show. The maestro’s of Milan were at it again on Sunday 28 February, 2016 showing a beguiling princess fantasy at the Metropole.
Channeling Cinderella, the show began with the invitations, themselves opening up like a fairytale book and also harking back to childhood delights (those pop up singing birthday cards you would get so excited about when 9 years old), the singing invite serenaded you with “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” when opened.
The day of the show was dreary and bordering on torrential rain in Milan, but never fear, our two Princes of Italy were here to save the day, because as soon as you walked into the pre-show foyer you were whisked away into a modern fantasyland. Even this foyer space was decorated with all kinds of fantasy signifiers from a starry blue (not red) carpet, apples and roses. You could even pose inside a large golden pumpkin, or stare into a mirror exclaiming “Who is the most beautiful?”.
The catwalk space itself had candelabras covered with roses and vines, and at the end of the runway, the pièce de résistance: a carriage worthy of Cinderella.
As for the clothing itself, clock and cat motifs featured heavily on the tight and sexy silhouettes D&G do oh-so-well. Think Sophia Loren meets Alice in Wonderland.
There was even glass slipper stilettos!
Sequins also featured heavily, as it had all fashion week at various shows, culminating in sequin Mary-Janes and the spectacular finale look of a never ending parade of models in light pink, fuchsia pink and silver sequin frocks invading the catwalk like a gorgeous sequin stampede. Note: if anyone can spring for one of these dresses for me, you can purchase all colours for a cool $6,000 USD on Farfetch.
One day my Prince (and hot pink sequin D&G dress..) will come..