Thursday, March 27, 2008

Milan Fashion Week S/S08

The high-heeled-erati is still recovering from an action-packed week of moda in Milan. The capital of fashion-as-commerce introduced a tighter schedule this season, fitting the big shows into four days instead of the usual five. Stefano Tonchi of the New York Times commented, "Young designers were pushed aside, and shows happened so close together that no one will remember any of the clothes.” Despite the fast pace (and resulting two hour delays), Anna Wintour publicly expressed her appreciation for the change, which was made at her behest.

The runways themselves were filled with a mix of varied hemlines, shapes and decades. All in all, Milan was much less 70s than New York, but still very sportswear driven. In general we saw safari suits, full pants, three-piece-suit- silhouettes, shorts-jumpers and one-piece pants jumpers, as well as layers and layers of chiffon, organza and tulle.

Here are some highlights:

It was inspiring to see an idea and not another cropped jacket. Miuccia Prada designed a fantasy universe that was part Japanese cartoon fairy, part Virgin Suicides.

Versace showed the best red carpet looks we have seen yet this season--jersey gowns in colors like shocking pink and intense periwinkle. The show music was fantastic--loud and bold. And the girls really worked it, all with Donatella hair.

Dolce & Gabanna
Dolce & Gabanna was a winner, a little showy and crazy but with beautiful painterly influences.

This was the first good show in a few seasons for Stefano and Domenico's diffusion line, which they recently brought back in house. It was a mix of Ossie Clark style bell dresses, floral prints and jean bell bottom suit, vest, and floppy hat looks that were right out of Taxi Driver.

Frida Giannini went 50s-- Rizzo in Grease: full skirts, scarves, tough-girl tiny leather jackets and cropped pants. It was all black and white with a choice of two colors: yellow and salmon pink. The accessories were gorgeous; patent booties with contrast piping, graphic sandals, and great big clutches (definitely the bag shape of the season) with resin cut like oversize crystal.

Bottega Veneta
Bottega "When Your Own Initials Are Enough" Veneta was very trench coat-y with tea length hems that were quite unflattering. Designer Tomas Maier created some beautiful corset pieces in evening wear. He continued the boudoir theme in accessories, switching up the House's woven leather for woven satin on high-heeled sandals.

Fendi was strong with a third beautiful season for Karl Lagerfeld. He worked a circle motif, first into collar and skirt shapes, and then onto the garments, tracing bulls-eyes made of colorful appliquéd silks and heavy beading. Somewhere in the process, he created the season's it-belt, with a geometric buckle in mixed stones like marble and tiger's eye.

Consuelo Castiglioni is a pioneer, and widely copied. Although she continued with Marni's signature bubble-shapes, which almost everyone else has left behind, she did move ahead beautifully with a rich color palette and sleek patent shoes and bags--a season standout.

Jil Sander
Raf Simmons' collection for Jil Sander was exquisite. Sharp lines, pure surprising colors, sheer layers and new shapes. It was practically a revolution in dressmaking — a must see!

Emilio Pucci
Pucci looked like a Matthew Williamson collection with geometric, colorful, 70s prints. Fun, but after the designer's tour-de-force for house last season, it felt a little hollow.

Christopher Bailey has been tearing it up at Burberry so editors and buyers alike expected the collection to be a favorite--chock full of new, but ever pretty, ideas. This season was very 80s: sexy Alaia meets Gianni Versace, neoprene in neon, and tons of densely ruched chiffon. The theme was the warrior, with every look belted with thin hardwear heavy belts. There were also stunning couture looks of banded-together silk.

Roberto Cavalli
A beautiful collection of Victorian nightgowns, child-like floral blocked prints and Romantic hair came down the runway. It has taken years for the fashion crowd to come back around to Mr. Cavalli's aesthetic of historical-decadence, but he is back.

— Staff

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