It’s safe to say that Milan has felt the Vetements effect alright: dishevelled shirts and oversized Balenciaga shapes in their plenty on offer for Spring/Summer 2017 – in fact, you’ll be hard-pushed to find a brand that hasn’t in some way or another been influenced, whether they realise it or not. But that aside, there’s been another trend one simply couldn’t ignore. The waist. Belting it; bagging it, even; cinching it; buckling it – but whatever you’re doing with it, you’re showing it off. Milan certainly wants you to. Here’s how…
Alberta Ferretti Women Fashion Show Ready to Wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 in Milan
The Bag Belt:
Clocked early on in the week at Alberta Ferretti and No 21, Marni too adopted the waist as its chosen method of transporting one’s personal items – here with huge waist pockets that worked like saddle bags. The neat thing about this silhouette is that it has dual purpose – cinches in the shape and puts it to good use, leaving your hands free. No 21 did a dainty debutante eveningwear thing, while there were women warrior notes at Ferretti and Marni was suitably oversized and practical. This is the new utility belt. And we bet Batman never had one as good.
Au Jour le Jour Women Fashion Show Ready to Wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 in Milan
The Obi Belt:
From Au Jour Le Jour to Philosophy, an Obi-style wrapped belt was the USP at play here, adding some studded edge and swashbuckling style for the latter, and bringing a cute, quirky, and typically jaunty edge to what was otherwise that street-layered look we’ve become so accustomed to seeing of late. Adding personality over polish, this is a more fun way to adopt the trend – and means you can easily switch up your outfit. Wrap it.
Aquilano Rimondi Women Fashion Show Ready to Wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 in Milan
The Big Cinch:
A big – or small – belt goes a long way. It will for next season. Salvatore Ferragamo, Sportmax, Aquilano. Rimondi, not to mention all of the above, all sent out their looks with belts: thick and glossy and like corsets (a trend that Prada began last season and seems to have gained legs) or simply a lean, single strand. The latter we saw at Prada (of course, again), worn over sporty tailoring and a slit be-feathered skirt. Meanwhile, Sportmax showed us how to wear them to work. And La Perla somehow managed to combine the two in a corset-jacket hybrid with office appeal but built-in clever shape-making mechanics! A svelte, pulled-in silhouette could be seen across the board, even at times when there wasn’t a belt: little skater skirts with nipped in waists at Giamba and Ermanno Scervino adopted the elegant lines for its eveningwear with some studded options of the accessory to be found too.
Uma Wang Women Fashion Show Ready to Wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 in Milan
Meanwhile: Scene To Be Seen
Milan isn’t the easiest of cookies to crack and even its designers will be the first to admit to that. “You shouldn’t judge Milan by the first impression you get. There are a lot of good things behind closed doors, which I know from experience isn’t easy. But once you get through it can be really nice,” reveals Arthur Arbesser. But it does have a scene. You’ll find it, in fact, on the clothes this season even if you haven’t managed to get behind those closed doors yet. Vistas were depicted across breezy dresses at Uma Wang, while vivid landscapes were rolled out over skirts at Marco de Vincenzo and Giamba did the same in tones of pink and all things pretty.
Gabriele Colangelo Women Fashion Show Ready to Wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 in Milan
A Special Mention
The reach of Paris’ new guard shakeup last year can definitely be felt among the collections in Milan this season – in the styling and the ideas themselves. Perhaps that’s a step on for Milan, often thought of as being more traditional in its approach to clothes, it feels by comparison then very current. But probably also a bit too obviously “now.” Because to fashion eyes it can become a little too repetitive. That said, this effect does mean that those brands who already identify with an entirely different aesthetic can shine a little more than usual. By default, they stand out. But for good reason too. Step forward Gabriele Colangelo who presented a texture-rife collection that explored surface deconstruction. And so was no way touching on the two fashion names in the air right now – Vetements and Gucci. It was serene and calm but needed to drill down into the last few looks more over some of the rest, for that would have made it a much stronger and even better collection. Colangelo is also the creative director behind Giada, founded in Milan in 2001. He joined the house last year, tapped for his minimalist approach, which played out to really quite lovely effect here with a sculptural sensibility leading throughout: sleek tailoring punctuated by elegant jewel fastenings that appeared as bangles and chokers, too.