Fashion Week Favourites: Milan
Well, this is a rather brief summary of what I liked from Milan. If you wanted to see colour, you were a bit out of luck! (Yes, there's always Cavalli's two shows, but they appeal to someone who is definitely everything I'm not.) There was a dark mood cast on so many of the collections, which used to be the 'rule' for the autumn/winter offerings, but really isn't any more as colour has mostly become seasonless; it's not uncommon now to find the palest or brightest of colours dominating a cool-weather collection here and there. It would seem that Giorgio Armani is also sick of the winter gloom reflecting in our clothes. According to WWD, the I'll-do-what-I-want designer explained of his Emporio Armani collection, “I wanted to lighten up winter, which is generally made up of too many dark colors and materials that are too hot." Yeah, that's all I'm saying! (Although I don't mind the cosy - being shivvering cold with a runny nose isn't a good look now matter how elegant your clothes are.)
So Armani presented his lightened-up palette of dusty blues and pinks, soft yellows, greens and greys with a 1920s-meets-Rei Kawakubo fusion of textiles, cuts and styling that could make the brain scramble in trying to neatly categorise the look. All outfits, some with more Japanese elements than others, were topped with variations on the classic cloche and the shoes were a mix of era-friendly Mary-Janes and brogues, flats, both slip-on and lace-up ankle boots, and even a thigh-high suede boot made an appearance. So it's all slightly odd, but a new approach to the 1920s (I can't help but see that as the primary reference because of my seemingly enduring affinity for it) makes for an interesting experiment. And a good hat should always be acknowledged.
Second, and lastly, is probably my consistent favourite of Milan, Antonio Marras. (I honestly tried to come up with more than than two, and though I'd be thrilled to wake up and find 90% of Milan's runway in my closet, I'm picking based on what would immediately make me happiest colour and texture-wise.) Marras' strength lies in taking Italy's best textiles and combining the complementary textures and patterns, then embellishing them with truly beautiful appliqued and embroidered details, without losing sight of the silhouette. This time it was printed silks, a bit of metallic shine, and traditional tweeds in the British vein, without any of that umbrella-carrying stuffiness - the Marras woman is always feminine and joyful.