From front row at Jil Sander to backstage at Salvatore Ferragamo, stay up to date on all things Milan Fashion Week
SALVATORE FERRAGAMO: FIRST CUT
It was the moment everyone was waiting for; it was the moment Paul Andrew has been waiting for. His first womenswear collection was by all accounts beautiful, tailored to perfection and styled smartly. There's a consensus that the designer played it safe. What one editor considers restrained, we declare refined. Recall the disorienting eveningwear from SS18? The messy accessories? Paul Andrew stripped the convoluted inspirations away to make room for streamlined silhouettes befitting a modern Katherine Hepburn. Deliberately lengthy shirtsleeves showed off cufflinks peeking out of sharp blazers in a strong line of olive green, ultraviolet, and blood red. Jodhpur pants hide a multitude of sins. Amidst the gamine charm, Andrew occasionally dressed up the Ferragamo woman in archival 1919 prints, velvet toga dresses and fluid silk one pieces — sometimes belted, sometimes with slit bishop sleeves. Overall, a steady, cohesive debut, leaving just enough in the dark to keep us wanting more.
GIORGIO ARMANI: BRIDGES, NOT WALLS
Giorgio Armani is throwing a party, and everyone is invited — or so he said. "I've always seen my work as a reaction to the times we live, because clothes affect behaviours and attitudes. For this season, I imagined a rich, boundless collection, inspired by many cultures as an ode to coexistence as opposed to exclusion," proclaimed Armani. From where we were seated, we spotted Mandarin collar blazers (with only the first three buttons done), Italian Renaissance artist hats, loosely derived Turbans and mildly Tibetan costume jewellery, though coloured models were largely absent. Armani's usual palette of grey and blush pink remained mainstays from his 80s suiting. Fall/winter 2018's rendition is softer — less I'm-a-man and more I'm-a-woman, a micro change we welcome. After all, if we're going to break the glass ceiling, we should do on our terms.
MISSONI: ABIDING BY THE RULES
The world gets it by now. Missoni does knits. Missoni does really colourful knits. Missoni never backs down from said colourful knits. Ever. If only they do, that will give us something new to write about for once. Don't get us wrong, not everyone can be Miuccia Prada — not that they should to begin with. We don't want Missoni to lose its rich identity, erase a lifetime of iconic work. But a critical re-imagination of its house codes is overdue, nor would it hurt its prospects with millennials. Let it be known we love Angela Missoni. How can we not? In a sea of designers riding on the hype train, Missoni stays firmly on her path, committed to put her money where her mouth is. She preaches inclusion, and practices it; her fall/winter 2018 runway was by far the most diverse. In a way, she has to, especially if she's going to reference the Jamaican culture in this heavily West African collection over a soundtrack of Yellowman's Zungguzungguguzungguzeng! Favourite pieces: the opening patchwork coat, that black cape with rainbow fringed hems, and the television test card suit set, worn under an equally lively frill coat.
JIL SANDER: SHELTERING FROM THE STORM
Our driver was swerving in and out of lanes, furrow in his brow. He's worried we wouldn't get to the Jil Sander show on time, due to the bad traffic caused by the clash of anti-fascism and alt-right groups in a demonstration in parts of Milan. On this part of the city, the mood couldn't have been more different. The lot of us were quiet — there weren't many seats in the house. In the middle of the show tent was a runway, white, big in width, so when Lucie and Luke Meier's demi-futuristic clothing came into spotlight, we had to stick our necks out for a good view. What we saw was what we like to think as a respite from all the unpleasantness outside. Particularly the duvets — in cream, greige stripes and red diffused florals. The outerwear cocooned the models in similar fashion, fastened invisibly, while a couple blankets hung off their shoulders via ribbons. They will be hailed for its design, not its practicality. In that same vein, are the coat and sweater sleeves, (not unlike Ferragamo), left to cascade beyond the fingertips. Note the decorative tone-on-tone armbands: they will be copied to death come fall.
All coverage of Milan fashion week fall/winter 2018.
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