Milan fashion week is over and Paris fashion week is currently underway. Many of the styles displayed in Milan were a carry over from spring 2010 with the mini still remaining a hit. Colors, as usual, darken for the season with deeper, richer blues, browns and some bold reds, pinks and oranges to liven things up. Italy’s finest showcased their designs amidst a tight schedule with celebrity onlookers such as Chris Brown, Lindsay Lohan and Julianne Moore front row. However, Milan fashion week was not all good, there was a little bit of the bad and the ugly thrown into the mix from surprising sources.
The Good: Versus and Salvatore Ferragamo at Milan Fashion Week
Versus harkens back to its late, great founder Gianni Versace with young, sexy, fun and flirty styles. The design team of Donatella Versace and Christopher Kane has carried on the shorter hem lengths and the flirty pleats that graced the spring shows last September. The twist in this collection is an ode to vintage Versace a la the 1990s bondage dresses that supermodels Helena Christensen and Cindy Crawford strutted and made the body of actress Elizabeth Hurley the envy of many women.
Salvatore Ferragamo’s new women’s wear head designer, Massimiliano Giornetti, has made a beautiful transition from working on Ferragamo’s men’s wear line to his current role. Where Versus catered to the young and hip, Ferragamo is strictly for grown folks. Giornetti coupled his skill in men’s wear to bring stylish, yet functional pieces that carry the modern working woman through the workweek on to the weekend. Maxi length coats, dresses and skirts in earthy browns and rusts were the main course of the show. Giornetti showed he can design to flatter the feminine form with exquisite floor length gowns that were reminiscent of 1970s Halston.
The Bad: Armani and Dolce & Gabbana a Miss at Milan Fashion Week
Not to take away from the skill of both houses, but these two shows leave me wondering what the heck could have been going through their minds during the design phase? Impeccable tailoring and craftsmanship was apparent in both showings. The suit jackets and coats are amongst the best of the season from Armani and Dolce & Gabbana. Unfortunately, this is where the love affair ends for me this season.
Dolce & Gabbana, usually favorites of mine, fell short for fall 2010 during Milan fashion week. An over abundance of lingerie, lace, flowers and metallic embellishments dominated the collection. The printed pieces of the collection were beautiful; however, the presentation was hideous. Leopard and Cheetah prints paired with black and white polka dots were not fun, sexy, chic or cute.
Giorgio Armani’s technical skill as a designer is evident throughout his fall 2010 collection, but it also suffers from odd presentation like Dolce & Gabbana’s collection. I find nothing wrong with shots of bold color in a collection, but Armani looked as if he were paying tribute to Halloween with the bright orange and black ensembles the models strutted down the runway in. In addition, there were some odd pairings for me with beautiful asymmetrical blouses paired with pleated A-line mini skirts. As separates this is a stronger collection than Dolce & Gabbana’s; however, retailers will need to do some adjusting when setting up displays for Armani’s latest collection.
The Ugly: Controversy during Milan’s 2010 Fall fashion week
Fortunately, the ugly during Milan fashion had nothing to do with the collections but rather with tight scheduling of the shows. Milan is typically second to Paris in importance for the semi-annual fashion showings and holds a lot of power. Apparently, Vogue’s Anna Wintour holds more, according to a report from Reuters’ Marie – Louise Gumuchian. Milan fashion week was scheduled to run for six days with the Italian fashion power houses dispersed throughout. However, for Milan fashion week 2010/11 the major designers had to be crammed into a four-day schedule because fashion editor supreme, Anna Wintour announced she was shortening her stay to attend Paris fashion week and the Oscars.
This was not the first time that Milan fashion week has altered its schedule due to foreign pressure. Last September, the runway schedules were altered to avoid conflicts with the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Mario Boselli, chairman of Italy’s National Chamber of Fashion, believes Italian designers are unaware of their power in the industry in this quote from Gumuchian’s article, “Our designers are the best in the world but unfortunately they often show they are not conscious of their power and instead give in to the pressure of the foreign press.”
Fortunately, the good outweighed the bad and ugly during Milan fashion week. Italian quality still cannot be beat. Luxe fabrics and style still shines through even from the worst of the shows. I for one am looking forward for Milan fashion week in September to see the spring offerings; hopefully, it will be all good.
Gumuchian, M.-L. (2010, February 24). Milan fashion starts with tighter schedule. Retrieved March 03, 2010, from Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61N2T520100224