What happens in Italy doesn’t have to stay in Italy
The catwalks of Milan Fashion Week were brimming with new fashion ideas
Red coats, super-sneakers, silver anoraks, snakeskin and real women on the catwalk. Who would have thought it: Milan Fashion Week offered something for everyone’s spring wardrobe.
Dolce & Gabbana offers genius diversity and puts Maye Musk in a trouser suit
The Italian duo have built a business on bottling and selling La Dolce Vita. And who better to sell that Italian dream than Monica Bellucci, once called the most beautiful woman in the world? Bellucci opened the show, followed by Carla Bruni, Maye Musk, Ashley Graham, matriarch Isabella Rossellini flanked by la familia: her son Roberto and daughter Elettra – with her partner by her side and her baby on her hip – she later shared a picture on Instagram of her breastfeeding backstage in full D&G regalia. Which perhaps takes the #normalizebreastfeeding movement to a new haute place.
There was fashion plate here for women of all ages, shapes and sizes. As for the clothes – from among the house’s signatures (the show was entitled DNA) emerged trouser suits: three-pieces in gilt brocades, black lace or polka dots; more casual two-piece sets in flower-embroidered cotton. Power dressing to whet any appetite.
Get your red coat, Prada’s on the pull
Miuccia Prada sent out a collection that buzzed with her trademark sartorial wit – school-ish tropes (neat A-line skirts, white shirts and grey jumpers), with a reassuring dose of irony and edge. See this spicy red, almost muted satin punky-princess coat: rounded, sloping shoulders, boxy shape, a haphazard bow, sharp collar and teeny contrasting double- breasted buttons – it is so perfectly off-kilter. Note also the spiked Alice band, boxing-sock sandal and serious lady bag. She could be the Duchess of Cambridge’s naughty twin. Which is an excellent starting point for any outfit.
Fendi cements the pleated skirt as your wardrobe essential
The flighty, balletic pleated skirt is going nowhere; below the knee incarnations are as common a catwalk sight as a Hadid sister or two (usually two). The Fendi show was a prime exemplar. Karl Lagerfeld presented a utilitarian bent for his collection, many-pocketed jackets, and belt bags with enough compartments to appease the most overly fastidious beach-goer. Our pleated pal appears with a nifty zipped up bomber jacket and colour-clash accessories. Also: into the reworked dolly-knot bun style.
Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini brings snakeskin back
Thanks to the last few seasons’ love affair with leopard, zebra, tiger and even giraffe prints, our wardrobes now look like the The Jungle Book. But snakeskin has not been quite so ubiquitous. At Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini that changed. Most women of a certain age will ignore the hotpants that snuck onto many a catwalk. But when a monochrome python print came not on shorts but as a blouson or on a pair of high-waisted trousers paired with a romantic ruffled white shirt, it suddenly stopped being gimmicky and started looking very wearable indeed.
Moncler shows off the genius of Simone Rocha and friends
The outerwear giant has stepped away from the traditional fashion calendar, instead commissioning well-known designers to create one-off capsule collections that arrive in store once a month. London’s star turn Simone Rocha is one of the chosen few alongside menswear talent Craig Green. So there was no catwalk show in Milan, instead a chance to get up close to dresses, coats and jackets appliqued with flowers. Rocha’s charm and wit team very well with Moncler’s technical know-how that makes it possible to turn humble nylon into a fabric that feels as precious, and flattering, as satin.
No anoraks here for Giorgio Armani
While everyone else was experimenting with saffron and ginger, Giorgio Armani took a cooler view. His aquatic, iridescent palette majored on silver, aquamarine and a soft blue-grey. Perhaps because the gigantic Emporio Armani show saw Robbie Williams taking over Linate airport for a concert, some of its younger, street-style values seem to have seeped into the main line. Hence a silver anorak complete with hood, zips and drawstring to open the show … as close as Mr Armani gets to a parka. Though he did team it with a ladylike knee-length skirt and some very sharp court shoes.
Is this Donatella Versace’s final graphically printed hurrah?
Last week it was annouced that Michael Kors had snapped up the house of Versace for a cool $2bn. Kors, having also taken ownership of Jimmy Choo last year, is on a mission to create a serious luxury portfolio. And whilst Kors isn’t inured to flashy design or bold statements, his customer is perhaps a little more laid back than Versace’s fierce-fashion clients. Will the two mesh? For that we’ll have to wait and see, but rumours that Donatella is stepping down have been circulating for a while. If this is it though, she’s taken a respected bow with a collection which showed off just how far she has taken this label: spray-on mini dresses, yes, but also clean, zingy graphic prints and ice lolly stripes, and even, yes, trainers.
Jimmy Choo will have you sold on souped-up sneakers
If you thought Christian Lacroix’s R30,000 sparkles were pushing boundaries, these crystal-smothered edifices at Jimmy Choo will leave zero change from R56,000. Will they sell? Not in their millions. But at Choo’s presentation in a Milanese apartment, an entire room was dedicated to sneakers of this ilk. Trainers are being worn by everyone, everywhere (cue recalibrated dress codes at traditional clubs and restaurants). How long will trainer mania last?
“It’s like the denim revolution of 60 years ago,” says Stefano Gabbana, whose Dolce & Gabbana trainers now account for 70% of its footwear sales. “It’s changed the way we think about comfort. No one wants to give that up.”
- © The Daily Telegraph