Marni makes the past new again and Dolce & Gabbana wears their hearts on their sleeves
MARNI: COMING UP ROSES The set: Tucked along Viale Umbria is a secret garden. Within that garden, an unfinished industrial compound with half-painted cement walls and stained floors, housing the fashion pack at one of the last shows on a perfect 19 Celsius morning at Milan Fashion Week.
The collection: Designer Francesco Risso didn't bother building up momentum in his sophomore collection at Marni. No, Risso went straight for the jugular, sending out home run look after home run look — beginning with a sculpted sweetheart drop-waist top bearing English rose and Indian madras held up by inch-wide sporty bands, hovering over a full skirt of the same floral print, only inked in basil green. Different variations followed, such as a blue-yellow-red check top with midi pleated skirt, and occasionally swapped for taffeta lantern skirts. Then came the generously cut coats with fur lapels and belts of harmoniously mismatched colours; deconstructed '50s bell shapes dripping in rhinestones with unfinished hems; polo shirts either plaid and worn alone or floral and layered over crisp shirts; and distorted pearl earrings and necklaces. The shoes are typical of Marni, meaning to say they are as practical as ever — at spring/summer 2018, either low and chunky heeled, or rubber boots reaching up to the bottom of the knees.
Buro loves: The closing column cotton dresses dipped in embellishments atop an equally delicate printed floral lining.
DOLCE & GABBANA: HOUSE OF CARDS The set: It was boiling in every way within the Metropol, Dolce & Gabbana's fashion darkroom for the day. Red carpet lined the floor and red spotlights shone on guests as well as the mechanical Queen of Hearts backdrop, sending us into a hypnotism of love.
The collection: #MFW was nearing its end, but don't count on Dolce & Gabbana to go gentle into that good night. Although the show opened with a slew of hyper sexed black dresses — some in leather bustier, some mummified over minimal boning — the remaining 93 looks were given the royal treatment. Tiaras? But of course. Fresh produce representation? Certainly. Opulent appliqués? Rococo suggestions? Recurring rose motifs? Cheeky, though unwearable accessories? Practically hallmarks of the Italian house. You see, at Dolce, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Customers aren't obsessed with the brand for its fashion revolution every few months; they stay loyal to the institution for the same reason we eat pasta. Because it's sinful. Because it's rich. Because it's comfortingly so. Hence, its followers will rejoice in the decorated tunics, bedazzled shoes, and the portrait neck voluminous dresses with peekaboo tutus that made up for the glitzy cocktail fare that have become staples over the seasons. Only that in spring/summer 2018, designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana did it with love.
The philosophy: How do you stay in love? Some say the answer is in the offering of hearts and flowers. Others want jewels. While Dolce has all those in spades, the models, stripped to their D&G knickers at the finale, suggested that it's confidence and the openness to vulnerability that keeps the amour alive.