Institutions, devices, and mechanisms of subjugation are the instruments that the “biopolitics” (quoting the French philosopher Michel Foucault) use to impose conducts and paths that keep us under invisible surveillance and classification. It’s a kind of subtle control on our lives that silently push us in a direction that we thought we freely decided, but actually we did not. On a lower scale, fashion acts within a similar process, but with different tools. So, should fashion be one of the instruments for self-determination? Actually, it cannot change these “microphysics of powers,” but it can undoubtedly be the fuel to force this hidden system.
“I’m not a market slave, I don’t produce clothes. I just like to change the dressing codes,” said Alessandro Michele after the Gucci show. These codes are the ones that would become the tools used to build a resistance bulwark of independent visions against these enigmatic control rooms. This is a collection where Michele expressed his passion for fashion, adding and subtracting layers to the existing ones. “In the show, there was a lot of 70s and 90s; those are the moments that led me to fashion and what I’m doing today, and I'm doing this with a lot of fun. This not a job that someone could do with no passion. Even me, if bored, I would quit at once.”
His capacity to entertain was clear since the beginning of the show: the Gucci over-decorated world suddenly became a sequence: plain and anonymous white “uniforms” in between straightjackets and white lab coats on models carried on travelators. The audience was speechless, of course. Lights off and suddenly the music became laud and rhythmic, so from the opposite side another show started where models were walking against the moving pavement’s flow. The girls were dominatrix, bourgeois, hippy; the men were strolling in Seventies suits and Nineties sporty looks. “This show really excited me. This is the moment where the climax is at its top; it's like an orgasm, a strong and deep emotion. I found all these guys very sexy, everyone has a different approach to sexuality. Today everybody talks a lot about fluidity, but, actually, I think that it has always been like this. Now we just talk about it, so it seems like a big topic,” stated Alessandro Michele.
This season, the journey of Dolce & Gabbana was in the jungle. The setting was majestic with a glimpse of the forest as background that delivered an energetic show with 124 looks that rushed on the catwalk quicker than expected. The safari started with khaki shirts, jackets, and jumpsuits that, after a few black Sicilian outfits, changed into full-bloom nature prints with an endless flow of printed and colourful pieces: from small tops to long gowns, from mini dresses to miniskirts. The collaboration with a Florentine artisan firm made possible the incredibly precious weaved raffia dresses with elegant details. The Southern Italian island touches made this Sicilian jungle collection opulent even if it sounded a bit out of tune, considering the desire of natural feelings and simplicity we saw in the whole fashion week. This was definitely about flora and fauna, but in the Dolce & Gabbana way.
Among the many shows and presentations in Milano, a gem was hidden in the most unexpected of places. Marco Zanini opens the doors of his house to the few who love the beauty of soulful purity of design. The Scandinavian-inspired collection met the Italian savoir-faire for a slow living and beautiful feminine collection. “I believe in timeless pieces and this is what my clothes are about,” said Zanini. “As the environment is a real issue today, I apply this mindset to my work too. The overproduction of clothes is impactful, as collections are often unsold and then become useless. My approach is to design something that can educate the customer to a prudent and intelligent buying.” And Zanini did it very well.
Drome celebrated its 10th anniversary moving from Paris to Milan. “It’s a great honour to be here. We are an Italian brand, so this is our natural place,” explained Creative Director Marianna Rosati. “This collection starts from an interior decoration book from the late 70s and early 80s funky atmosphere, but a bit softened and reinterpreted; plus, a touch of Elvira Hancock, the beautiful Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface, for her magnetism and sexiness.” Soft tailoring was implemented with seventies and eighties flair, and leather was treated as a fabric for wide pants and puffy miniskirts.
“Milano is a place that belongs to our aesthetic heritage. That’s why we showed here and it will not be a one shot event,” explained Boss’ designer Ingo Wilts backstage before the show. “This is the capital of craftsmanship and personal expression, and we feel that we have a lot in common in this field.” Tailoring is the legacy of the brand, and their aim is to open a conversation with the new generation which is more and more sportswear- and leisurewear-driven. To start this talk, it’s difficult; but it’s something that must be done, and not only for Boss. The collection turned the men’s look easier with weightless suits and jackets, and for the women the unstructured silhouette mixed with men’s wardrobe items. It is the perfect daily urban wear for the ideal metropolis we all dream of, but maybe a bit too distant for real life.