MFW: Get Offline & Go Outside!

The internet is to our generation what the television was to the one before it: addictive, new, a novelty, and in demand. Nowhere is that more prevalent than at fashion week when one’s phone becomes a mobile office, capturing moments and thoughts of the collections that walk by; reporting and recording; navigating across the city just as much as a landscape of new-season clothes. But sometimes, it’s nice to put the phone down and look up. Where are you? What’s going on? What’s happening? Because even for the fashion press and buyers with pings and bleeps, emails and texts constantly rushing in during a show, sometimes they forget to look up and see the very reason they are there. Uh-oh.

MARCO DE VINCENZO FW18 show in Milan. Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.

Put another way, in another context: It’s the age-old lament of parents for kids who sit squarely in front of the box. And Marco de Vincenzo was keen to rectify that situation with a collection that took a nostalgic trip back to the Seventies, viewing it through his typically vivid – and rather ironically in this instance – lens (basically another screen). But what that did mean was pixelated prints and motifs among his stoles and coats and super-sparkly shoes – for de Vincenzo excels on those – super flares and Bay City Roller knits.

His signature rainbow palette became hyper glitz, because real-life can come in technicolour, too! “Going offline is nothing less than an act of peaceful protest, a rediscovery of proper human interaction and bonds,” professed the show notes. And so the wonder years of the Seventies, pre-24/7-everything and constant instant access to the internet, made for the ideal backdrop; a sentimental streak for the designer as he mined that time when the TV was turned off, making instead for all the productive potential and possibilities as a curious child. And certainly this was a nice way to deal with the online-offline state-of-the-world-today subject that elsewhere designers view with dystopian despair. But the answer seems simple: just go outside. It might even be sunny.

ETRO FW18 show in Milan. Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION.

Of course, the great outdoors, travel, and journeys are always intrinsic to the DNA of Etro. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t, such a hallmark as it is of the brand that sometimes it just falls out of favour and doesn’t feel right for the time. Well, this did feel right and was an excellent and gorgeous collection from Veronica which put the brand back on track. The kind of Etro we want to see. Dresses flowed in handkerchief hems and bohemian charm, poncho necklines draped around them, fringing streaming as they went. High collars and ruffles – it equally had a Seventies hippy feel, the designer’s inspiration found among the graphic motifs of European arts combined with the Great Planes. There were no end of great dresses, jackets, and shirts, and the in-built poncho silhouette certainly sold it.  

But going outside, or on a sojourn, doesn’t have to mean rural terrain; certainly neither of the above two collections set an agenda for wellington boots or tents or temperamental weather. Going out means on the town, too. And, for that, there comes some standard garb: sequins.

ALBERTA FERRETTI FW18 show in Milan. Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION.

Both Alberta Ferretti and N°21’s Alessandro Dell’Acqua put on collections that called on some serious shimmer and shine. Of course, Ferretti we know is always good for a bit of red carpet action so it was in those pieces that we saw those gold discs at play or there was a dose of metallic in a plunging Grecian gown. And Alessandro is a born-magpie.

N°21 FW18 show in Milan. Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.

This collection was more mod in spirit and style with loads of fringing, fast becoming a trend in this style capital, for coats drenched in the stuff. The designer had been inspired by majorettes. “What I had in mind was is a woman who – while no diva, no vamp, no star – knows how to dazzle in her everyday life.” Something that Dell’Acqua is very good at doing. This was a great collection from him, more obviously joyful than the last which came as more demure, and once again illustrated his mastery when it comes to mixing that masculine/feminine thing. The one-shoulder knit was a particular winner.

SPORTMAXFW18 show in Milan. Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.

And by the very nature of its name, Sportmax is meant for a certain amount of utility and practicality, though a standout combination here was a turquoise-teal sequin-heavy jumper and skirt. And while we would have liked to have seen more of this train of thought, it was probably because we didn’t that it worked so well.


See MARCO DE VINCENZO's full FW18 collection here. 

See ETRO's full FW18 collection here. 

See ALBERTA FERRETTI's full FW18 collection here. 

See N°21's full FW18 collection here. 

See SPORTMAX's full FW18 collection here.