The curtain has just closed on what has probably been one of the best Milan women fashion week in the last years, ideally all the brands that displayed their collections would deserve to be mentioned. There are several elements which contributed in making it so special: an exceptional attention to quality, tailoring and textiles; a return to craftsmanship, with references to art and culture; last but not least a genuine tribute to modern femininity.
For her menswear show, Miuccia Prada had staged the birth of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein outlining all the multiple facets that this fictional but all too real creature represents. In her womenswear show she gave Frankenstein a bride, which emerges from her gothic cradle bringing together all the stereotypes and images which commonly define women and their social environment. By taking these to the catwalk, she unveiled the truth behind this deceiving definitions. Witches, spouses, army girls, aliens, mourning widows and flower fancies. A platoon of heroines hit the runway in army boots, Wednesday Addams plaits and and unforgiving femininity. The show had a title: “Anatomy of Romance”; no lies, no masks, no apologies and no sugar-coating. True romance is made of flesh and blood.
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Dolce & Gabbana
The Italian duo also continued the narration started in their men’s show. “Eleganza”, a story of elegance, of the golden days of Italian tailoring (see Tomasi di Lampedusa’s “The Leopard” for all references), of handmade (Fatto a Mano), Renaissance art and of their beloved Sicily, which always inspires them. The silhouette pays tribute to the female figure, tight waistlines and curvaceous skirts look back at the fifties. The flowers – present in all latest Dolce & Gabbana shows – appear in a less opulent, more elegant form, as a tribute to the Virgin Mary. Sequins, brocade, sequins and brocade combined…. But also men suits, worn in a seductive Marlene Dietrich way, perfectly silhouetted black dresses and refined collage prints set on brightly coloured dresses which recall the multi-coloured gems used in brand’s Rainbow Fine Jewellery collection (perhaps indicating a haute couture approach and intention? If so we would only be delighted!). A few bridal gowns also appeared on the catwalk, between refined negligées and Prince of Wales eveningwear. A sophisticated ensemble, which brought together the best of both tradition and innovation and recognised the right, for all women, to feel like princesses.
Missoni equals colour. The brand’s mission has always been communicating luxury through outstanding chromatic combinations transferred on precious fabrics. For fall/winter this concept is taken to the next level of elegance, time-lapsed back to the seventies, when silhouettes were long and lean and fluid forms embraced the body. A controversial era in which riots and creativity brilliantly coexisted is brought back in a subtle manner which has more to do with timelessness than with nostalgia. Colour blocks, glitter, the sparkle of lamè, the wide-leg pants… featured both on the women and on the men’s outfits, all these elements define the coherence of a brand that has been shining bright for more than six decades and is loved by everyone regardless of age and style. Missoni is Missoni.
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It is very much not by chance that this Milan Fashion Week wrap-up concludes with N.21. What Alessandro Dell’Acqua showed was, by all means, pure Fashion (yes, with a capital F). A strong woman, who choses to be sexy not to please the men-gaze but simply because that is precisely who she choses to be. An ambiguous, unapologetic Femme Fatale who plays with laser cuts, transparencies, off-shoulders and open backs, revealing just how much she wishes to reveal of her body and of herself. Fashion, because the geometry of cool, colour and shape is perfectly tuned.
“All comes from an impression I got watching Brian De Palma’s 1980 film Dressed to Kill again.” Said Dall’Acqua “I was particularly struck by the atmosphere the director created both with his voluptuous use of the movie camera and with the passionate, sensual music of Pino Donaggio, mounting a true symphony of terror on the screen.”. Once again, no pretense. Clothes do not define who we are, but choosing to wear N.21 next winter is a statement.
To sum it all up. If we consider the concerning situation of both Italy and Europe, we can hope that, once again, beauty will save us all.
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