After the Emporio Armani show, Mr Giorgio opened up and talked about today's state of fashion and, generally, style. “Trends don't exist anymore,” stated the designer backstage after the show. “Our job as designers is to make the women beautiful. we need to make them feel confident but also guide them to be aware of their age and body. Often we see types of women that are out of reality and then they risk to follow aesthetics which made them look ridiculous.” Armani's vision suggested a way to self-affirmation: how being conscious about one's own body or age is a demonstration of power and how, on the other hand, disguising oneself to chase a social approved model weakens the person instead of affirming their identity. Not easy to do, as taste is not something that everybody has, but fashion exists to also teach these aesthetic rules. This misleading behaviour deceives women into feeling younger or sexier than they actually are, with a final result that often is far from the awaited. “My advice is that the black it's the best solution for everything,” played Armani. “Among the bunches of people I see around, the black dressed are the right ones. That's also why it injected this collection and I also explored every length in order to give different options to my customers.” The show started as a prosecution of the men’s show that closed with the sustainable R-EA part of the collection, now there were 12 girly black looks with flashes of white. In an overview, the collection was very nighty and sensual, a lot of velvets, short dresses, transparencies and a light touch of laces. “I added also two colours, the green and the blue in different hues, that interrupted the black theme,” explained Armani. “They were strong enough to be mixed with the black, but not too loud to clash with it.”
Tod’s started a new chapter with the brand's new Creative Director Walter Chiapponi, who was only appointed last October. He debuted on the catwalk adding an effortless mood through long wide wool, corduroy and denim trousers worn with sneakers, slouchy sweaters and oversized men’s jackets and shirts. Despite Tod’s tradition, the leather was limited to just a few coats and jackets or in bustier tops and dresses – shoes apart, of course. This is a big step forward for the Diego Della Valle owned brand as it gives more creative options. The overall view was relaxed and cozy, with a hint of sensuality due to the several looks that showed bare legs. The collection looked good for Tod’s customers, even if the Prada-ish mood was palpable. Also, at first sight, the luxury effect was less evident than in the bran's previous collections.
“This is a highly contrasted collection where I wanted to put in juxtaposition the tailoring and the warmth of comfy clothes,” explained Veronica Etro backstage. “I took the bon ton of the high ranked society girls and I mixed it with memories from around the world. I liked to define them as Haute Bohemians and the are richly dressed but with a laid back attitude, and a bit of seduction, that’s why in the last exit all the models wore a long black vinyl trench coat that turns them into mysterious femmes Fatale.” The collection was highly influenced by Argentinian gauchos with wide brim hats, tailored suits with cropped trousers and slouchy boots or Patagonia motifs seen on the big blanket shawls, big jackets and knit cardigans. The Milanese Maison always goes back to its roots, but, it looked like a dead weight instead of a much needed new start to evolve its heritage. Even if the inspiration was very catchy, the final result showed an aesthetic that, although very Etro, didn’t add any fresh layers that could inject new blood into the brand.
“We entitled this collection ‘A Brighter Future’ to encourage positive thinking,” said Grazia Malagoli, Creative Director at Sportmax – a brand that this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. “It is a conversation between the our technological world and the the more intimate and feminine side. Tailoring, sharp cuts, metal or vinyl touches and futuristic designed sunglasses faced the short dresses, fluid long dresses, delicate natural colours like white, grey and navy blue with touches of burgundy.” The elvish sleek hair with the ears appearing through, was reminiscent of a beautiful and icy cold Cate Blanchett's Galadriel or Liv Tyler's Arwen from J.R.R. Tolkien inspired movie trilogy “The Lord of the Rings” and it gave a sense of impalpable beauty. Unfortunately, even if catchy, the collection didn’t fully deliver the sense of a positive future as it was not defining the next wardrobe staples nor gentle seduction.
Francesco Risso at Marni explored the world of collage. “It’s an extreme celebration of the do-it-yourself art,” explained Risso backstage before the show. “All started from a question that bounced in my head: we live in a fast and kaleidoscopic world. Do we need to escape this psychedelia or we need to embrace it to escape from this world? That’s why I considered the patchwork the right signifier to create the visual motley. We have such great Italian traditions of craftsmanship and I wanted to highlight them taking back objects from far away past.” In fact, the brocades used at the end of the collection were crafted with antique looms projected by Leonardo da Vinci. Going back to the beginning of the show, the reassembling theme was dissected in every aspect. “Exploring this world I played with every size and shape,” continued Risso. “From micro dresses to macro coats, from tiny skirts to giant knitwear.” Even if the patchwork could have been the fun and colourful topic, this Marni version was a bit too disrupted and gloomy. The colour palette in the tones of the Earth, with few flashes of blue, didn't help to inject positivity. Even the music, hypnotic, and the makeup, glittered and painted, added another dark layer to the presentation.
The first of Versace's co-ed shows stated that Donatella wants to celebrate equality and inclusivity. The extraordinary casting showed that every different variety of human being was the most important message from the show. On the other hand, the collection suffered from the today's 'Versace Syndrome': showing almost every single element of its heritage that turned the brand into an icon every single season – from prints to total black, from animalier to denim, from sportswear to tailoring and leather. This is what made the brand's aesthetic stick in something which is evergreen, yet not so fashionable anymore. The Versace power can survive even if only one among these factors becomes a full collection. The black kick-off of tonight's show was as bold and promising as it was Versace, but then everything else got added to that and all got confusing. On top of this, Balenciaga-ish silhouettes, Prada-esque big knit collars and pinned garrison hat stylings didn’t help to express Versace's strong identity.