The first day of Milan Fashion Week kicked off with a vibrant Gucci show. It seems Gucci has turned its back on black and the archetype of what it means to be a Gucci woman. Having spent the best part of 20 years honing the image of a sexy, sultry creature of the night complete with signature smoky eyes, sleek, controlled hair and a weakness for edgy clothes, it seems that even Gucci’s image can be tweaked.
Frida Giannini, Gucci’s head designer, explained that this season the inspiration came from “Richard Avedon and Gian Paolo Barbieri’s historic photographs”. Harking back to the 1970s with a penchant for bell bottoms, belted tunics, scooped-out backs, ruffles and dare we say it, colour! Black did make an appearance, but with the craze for color seemingly on the rise, as a wardrobe staple, monochrome seems to be taking a backseat next season.
Pastels in electric hues made an appearance throughout London Fashion Week, but at the Emporio Armani show the contrast was turned way down to pale and almost-imperceivable hues. Pink, lilac, yellow, blue, and green were incorporated into panelling on shirts and dresses, on wide-woven bags and large-pixel print shorts. Following on from the barely-there pastels, a range of milky coffee hues rounded out the serene and gentle feel of the collection.
While Blugirl‘s collection had an air of modern romance and Max Mara presented a safari chic collection full of warm shades, one of the oddest and most interesting shows of the day was Prada. Miuccia turned fashion on its head once again, explaining that the collection was a combination of all the elements that women can’t normally wear “without being laughed at, and tried to make them more acceptable”.
Those elements included floral embellishments, together with the skinny satin skirts, origami folded satin tops worn with flesh-coloured cycling shorts, and boxy fur coats. Interestingly, Prada said she hadn’t realized just how Japanese-inspired the collection was until it was finished. A rather shocking oversight on her part, considering the satin kimono wraps, wedge sandals and the zip up tabi-style metallic socks. There are certain pieces that we love, but we’ll need some serious convincing to don those metallic flat boots.
The Versace collection was a mix of sexy street style dresses with a dash of tailoring. Donatella stated that, “You don’t necessarily think of Versace for tailoring anymore. We’re so known for dresses, I wanted to show what we can do”. And that’s exactly what she did, sending models onto the runway in seriously un-Versace like dresses and loose tie-dyed kaftans that still managed to maintain a sexy air.
As for the tailoring, suits were the order of the day, with thigh-length blazers balanced by panels of lace foliage to maintain Versace’s signature feminitiy.
Just Cavalli, an offshoot of Renzo Rosso’s Diesel creatively overseen by team Cavalli, contained many trademark Cavalli designs. Tight denim, contour-hugging printed jersey, and lots of opaque reveals. Before the show Roberto Cavalli stated,”You will see forty beautiful mermaids. Just Cavalli is for young girls, very young girls. Fun, Mediterranean and beautiful. Some of the shows I have seen this week look like winter, but this is summer, summer, summer.” Bougainvillea and blue majolica prints bloomed everywhere, and a closing section of printed, irregularly hemmed floaty mermaid gowns that were expect.
Expanding upon the Japanese-esque style of Prada’s earlier show, Pucci brought us a runway show of South East Asia inspired collection.The script on long, flowing, contour-clarioning silk dresses appeared to be Cambodian or Vietnamese. Decorative tiger and dragon motifs sat alongside camouflage prints whilst olive and khaki tunics with regimental patches were suggestive of a 60s military uniform. Stacked, faux-ivory dragon heels were unmistakably reminiscent of the Far East and some of the short, and sheer black numbers looked like that of an upmarket bar-girl. Overall, the collection was a sultry line of after-hours wear for a fantasy Asian-hotspot.
A favorite of the day was Bottega Veneta that featured exquisite 40s-style dresses. Summery butterfly, pansy and tulip motifs adorned the dresses with ladylike grace and the shapes were chaste and classic without looking too stuffy or staid. Flashes of skin and snakeskin print hosiery gave the outfits a subtle but suggestive appeal. We’d love to get our hands on a piece of Bottega SS13.
Irish twin duo Jedward may have made an appearance at Dsquared2, but our eyes were nonetheless drawn to Missoni‘s out of this world collection.With the starting point of inspiration being a Japanese animé sci-fi, it was a theme that clearly delighted both the stylists and accessories-team. Space visors, bright lipstick, rough crystal necklaces and bracelets and delicate ankle-encasing heels provided a gloss to the looks.
Pieces included jackets that shimmered with starburst paillettes, sporty vest-top dresses with opaque outer layers over Missoni’s specialty patterned knits, and vibrantly colored space-esque bodysuits. Whether decorated in patchworks of geometric blocks or a confusion of colored texture, the collection was a space-age delight that drew in the eye.