During fashion month, there is no rest. Just 24 hours after the last London runway, the fashion crowd was sitting on pink ottomans in a bright pink venue in Milan watching the Gucci collection through clouds of pink smoke. (And when Milan closes, we will jump straight to Paris, starting with Anthony Vaccarello’s debut at Saint Laurent.)
Milan is a force to be reckoned with when you consider the combined power of the luxury fashion and accessories brands and the Made in Italy label, so coveted by the Chinese. It adds to the allure of the likes of Gucci, Prada, Fendi and Tod’s.
At Bottega Veneta, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, designer Tomas Maier marked his 15th year as creative director with a spectacular show, presenting collections for both men and women.
Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, who was lavished with praise during his first two seasons, did not hold the fashion crowd quite so much in his thrall this time. Under the frenzy of styling at the Gucci shows there is real talent, but the disruptive effect that so captivated the imagination three seasons ago has become the new norm. Also firmly maximal and enthusiastically embellished was the tropical theme at Dolce Gabbana.
Prada’s eclectic mismatched prints and patterns put forward cool new workwear options while whimsical hues, accessories and feathers were great for play.
Donatella Versace’s strong, sexy and sporty collection celebrated women in power.
Massimo Giorgetti at Emilio Pucci is another newcomer looking to reboot a brand, but one still trying to find his groove. He simplified the dynamic Pucci graphics of old but seemed reluctant to handle them too much, preferring more the bold colour combinations of his draped jersey dresses that appeared in citrus colours. Particularly lovely was a daffodil-yellow bodysuit under a soft pink draped jersey dress.
Chinese designer Uma Wang shows in Milan because of her European clients and the enormous cachet it brings her in Asian markets. This time, she took a new direction in style, using giant photo prints on draped squares of fabric, sealed with a single seam at the back. Her fabrics seemed smoother and less rustic than usual, although her beloved earth-coloured palette remained to emphasise the wanderlustful African nomad that was her theme.
Also subtly tapping different cultures were Giorgio Armani’s draped sari-inspired outfits. Add intricate beading, pretty sequins and crystals, combined with languid shapes and inky hues, and the result was glittering, sophisticated eveningwear.