If New York is commercial and London is creative, Milan is most definitely unapologetically luxury. With a selection of fashion juggernauts headlining the fashion week, it has often been accused of feeling institutionalised and leaving little room for new talents or ideas. This has slowly started to change with designers like Fausto Puglisi and Arthur Arbesser repping for the rising stars and tradeshow white milano who joined forces with the Italian Fashion Council to host a show for newcomer Situationalist this season. Add the surreal talents of designers into the mix and the industrial Italian city is definitely starting to look brighter. This may also be thanks to a new Venetian inspired trend which saw crystal soaked shows and presentations held all over the city. Could opulence be a sign of a new found optimism in Italy's luxury fashion capital?
The Dolce & Gabbana Fall/Winter 2017 ready-to-wear show in Milan (by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION)
Here's everything you need to know from Milan Fashion Week:
FEMINISM - ALSO PERTINENT IN BOTH NYC AND LONDON - ALSO APPEARED IN LONDON
He's dressed Katy Perry, Rihanna and JLo like queens in the best fabric and appliqué Italy has to offer. He's cloaked Madonna in silky papal garb and capes made by Vatican artisans. Indeed Fausto Puglisi's woman could be a queen, a pope or even a mafia boss.
WOMEN'S RIGHTS AND DIVERSITY WERE VISIBLE IN THE MORE VARIED CHOICE OF MODELS
This season Halima Aden - the Somali-American model making a name for herself as a Muslim role model. In Milan she has taken center stage on the runway at Alberta Ferretti and Max Mara, firmly demonstrating that the hijab is here to stay. “Embracing culture and diversity to break norms and change the thinking of modern-day fashion with Halima Aden,” said Alberta Ferretti.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE KEY TRENDS?
Here are five trends to be getting on with at Milan Fashion Week: from feathers at Prada and Les Copains, alluring coats at Max Mara and Gucci to eye-popping colors at Pucci and Fendi to be getting on with, and then of course Jeremy Scott lives in his own wonderful and brilliant Moschino world.
AND THE NEW NAME TO KNOW?
Invited by WHITE MILANO as a special guest, Irakli Rusadze unleashed a collection marked by sexy sartorial ensembles that featured daring necklines and body-hugging trousers. "It's all about who Georgian women are today. Their spirit and what they are wearing," Rusadze said backstage
PRADA, AS ALWAYS HAS ITS OWN IDEAS
Designers in Milan have been compelling us with their personal treasure chests of fashion mementos. Prada emphasised this trend with a venue space that was adorned with nostalgic postcards and adverts from a bygone era that all bore the Prada name. Let’s take a look at some of the ethnic elements hidden under the opulent embroidery, the whimsical floral patterns and the golden accents.
DON'T WORRY, THE ITALIANS STILL MADE SURE THE WEEK WAS ULTRA OPULENT
The rich interiors of noble palazzi and religious temples inspired designers from Alberta Ferretti to Fausto Puglisi this season; maximizing potential to create something as magnificent as Italy’s monuments. Across the board, Italian designers are responding to the economic malaise with all the excess they can muster.
MIXING ITALIAN AND FRENCH HERITAGE, VIONNET PRESENTED IN MILAN FOR THE FIRST TIME
“I tried to interpret Vionnet in my earlier career in a more rigid way because I thought the patterns were of more importance but then realised fluidity is something really important for us,” said an enthusiastic Ashkenazi after the Vionnet show, which made its debut in Milan this season, usually showing in Paris. “Today we are a made in Italy brand, everything you see here is made here. Of course we have a moral centre in Paris, we are Vionnet Paris, but I feel very at home in Milan and this time everything just flowed, I couldn’t be happier.”
THERE WERE ALSO LOTS TO FEEL WARM AND FUZZY ABOUT WITH SOME BRIGHT IDEAS FOR NEXT FALL
It’s the Fall/Winter season therefore coats make up a strong strand of the collections. The USP of outerwear this time, however, is the fluff, fuzz and fur that spills out at collars and cuffs on shearling and aviator styles. With more than a hint of Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind about them - Prada, most notably - they’ve been bright and colourful. Very bright and very colourful. Like Versace’s vivid collars in red and orange and blue, among a slick sportswear slogan-ed collection.
KINGS OF BAROQUE DOLCE & GABBANA ALWAYS MAKE A STATEMENT
Dolce & Gabbana has been on a crusade to promote family values with its #DGFamily campaign for some time. And for Fall/Winter they staged a show in Milan that kicked the social media part of the campaign into overdrive. The result was one of their most emotional shows ever.
AND MSGM'S MASSIMO GIORGETTI BRIGHTENED UP THE WEEK
Massimo Giorgetti, founder of MSGM and creative director of Emilio Pucci, pulled off two memorable runway presentations this week. And both possessed a bold, colorful message that made a statement in different ways.