Light and transparent fabrics — from organza to lace to netting — dominated the shows Friday at Milan Fashion Week.
Milan womenswear designers experimented with all manner of sheer fabrics, creating decidedly feminine looks for next spring and summer that new materials gave a contemporary modern flair. Here are some highlights from Friday’s shows:
Donatella Versace has created stunning camo-glam looks next summer. She used military accents and materials with flair.
Versace’s striking animal prints, which mimic camouflage, are best used in urban jungles.
Versace’s mishmash of purple, green, and gray patterns inspired a range of leather mini dresses and chiffon eveningwear with a long trailing track. Some were tied at the hemline and over the shoulders for drama.
There were also more button-down options, like the mini dresses in olive green and sand military jackets as well as the jacket-short combinations with a bandeau top. Accompanying star necklaces hint at rank.
Versace’s use of the Medusa logo in its branding is less sexy than it was in the past. Versace brands military belt buckles as well as the straps of platform shoes like brass buttons. Versace called the utility jacket the new essential daywear item. Versace had one arm drawn by Versace, a discreet placement considering the multitude of animal prints. The look was completed with matching backpacks.
Versace started in the show notes that “This collection is for the way women live today, mixing tailoring and sportswear and effortless glamour.”
Giorgio Armani gave the crowd a wink at both the opening and closing of his Emporio Armani show. He wore a pink cropped T-shirt with a graphic emoticon smiley face and an “x” for one eye.
It was perhaps his way to signal a shift in fashion. In his notes, the designer stated that he was tired of the “classic interplay between masculine and female” and that the collection was moving towards “a subtle but determined form of grace.” There were also a lot of new runway shows.
The looks were feminine, light, and pretty. They were evocative of movement thanks to both the textiles (sheer organza was a Milan favorite this season) as well as the simple silhouette.
Tops, jackets, and skirts were cut asymmetrically, giving the impression of being mobile. The new trouser was fastened at the ankle or calf with leather straps. The shorter version is cinched in. He used pleats and contrast volumes in silhouettes, such as cigarette trousers paired with a boyfriend-cut duster jacket. The colors were mostly pastels, but Armani preferred a trio of pinks, blues and cinnamon. This was anchored by urban grey.
He was not a fan of accents but he did add some. These were inspired by nature, including stem, flower and petal appliques. A scarf tied at the neck was a finishing touch to many looks. Armani paired these looks mostly with flats. These could be transparent ballerinas or open-toe boots.
MARCO DE VINCENZO
Marco De Vincenzo found a balance between his love for the female form, and his desire to create easy-to-wear volumes in his latest collection.
De Vincenzo, who has the support of French conglomerate LVHM created light, feathery appearances out of crepe georgette. His team painstakingly laser-cut strips and sewn countless rows onto each pleated garment.
His team devised the technique to create dresses that moved in a subtle wash of sunset colors. Although large, voluminous coats had all the visual appeal of fur, they were actually feather-light.
Backstage, Di Vincenzo stated that “I believe there is lightness everywhere” and that it was a challenge for him. It’s important to keep the lightness in your work, even if it is very three-dimensional or hypnotic. These looks are contrasted by body-conscious dresses with bra-top netting bodices and a form-fitting lacey dress.
De Vincenzo stated that he wanted women to have both relaxed and sexy looks. He said, “I know that women today love to mix it up and wear something sexy, or not, depending upon the weather or day.”
Giambattista Valli claims that his Giamba line’s looks next spring and summer will be “post-pop.”
Giamba is both curious and brave, caught between two worlds. She dresses in sheer white baby doll clothes over bright red-white-and-blue sequined panties. She can choose between floral appliques or lipstick prints and wears black boots with zebra-striped ankle socks and pumps.
“This intimate party is made up of girls who have done altogether. Giamba stated that there were no boys and that his inspirations came from the party scenes of the 1970s and 1990s.
The clothes projected energy. From the red-white-and-blue sequined mini with upwardly-pointing lace to its neckline, Alice in Wonderland-style, to mod gowns featuring ’70s pop-art prints or tiered granny style with delicate built-in causes, the clothes were energetic. The transparent bodice of the lacey bodice allows Valli to strategically position stars and hearts in order to hide their nipples.
Valli, who exhibits his couture line in Paris, and launches his second, youth-charged, line last year in Milan sees himself as “one the most complicity for females, regardless of age.” Shoes include woven satiny flats with feathery lifts.
Etro’s latest collection pays tribute to ballet by sending models down a runway made of wood in a showroom decorated with mirrors that evoke a practice studio.
Etro with its Bohemian flair easily resists the tutu. Instead of referencing ballet with a graceful plisse, falling at the knees, Etro paired a tiered print skirt and a dancer’s wrap with a tiered skirt. Satin ribbons were used as belts for chiffon and lacy tops.
Designer Veronica Etro stated that it was a challenge to work with lace and tulle.
She said backstage, “As a beginning point, I was very fascinated with the elaborate turn-of-the-century details such as fabrics like Lace, Tule, Scallops, Ribbons, Haberdashery.”
This season’s signature prints featured delicate florals. The color palette was more muted. Deep blue and purple were contrasted by shades of pink, taupe, and apricot.