Best shows from MFW SS18 Day 1: Gucci and No.21

Best shows from MFW SS18 Day 1: Gucci and No.21

Milan Fashion Week

Text: Jolene Khor

Image: Imax Tree

On the first day of Milan Fashion Week, Gucci glows in the dark and N21 teaches lessons in love

The set: "It was so dark, I couldn't see anything," sighed an editor as we made our exits. "How was the view from where you were?" Filled with smoke, lit with strobe lights and furnished with giant Roman fixtures that sometimes hindered our line of sight, the space was far from conducive for thorough examination of the clothes.

The collection: Was that silver jacket glow-in-the-dark? Did I spot a teardrop on the 3D sunglasses? Did the embellishments form peacock feathers on the leather dress? Yes, yes and yes. Yet, you get a feeling that spring/summer 2018 Gucci isn't just about the details. Alessandro Michele implored us to dive deeper, to think intellectually about trends. "Resist the illusion of something new at any cost. That is what the collection does, refusing to turn the page and stubbornly dwelling on a narration that consolidates in the beauty of the slow," read the show notes. Translation: This logo-loving, glitter-heavy, kitschy Gucci is here to stay. But that is not to say the collection is merely an echo of collections past...

A continuity: The old-school cartoon — spot Snow White and Bugs Bunny — wedged between looks celebrating Michele's affinity for Chinese culture, pussy bows and those beloved cobras; enduring from past season's Donald Duck and teddy bear prints. Goosebumps. 

The show: Forty-five minutes after the show was scheduled to begin, we've heard The Korgi's "Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime" over 10 times now. We slimily thought Dell'Acqua was trying to teach us about patience. Or perhaps hanger management. (That's hunger-angry management for you).

The collection: It turns out, upon seeing the first looks come down the Saran wrapped runway, that he is here to school us on love. Slinky nightgowns and pencil skirts were dipped in blush tones, with enough chiffon overlay, flighty feather appliqués and creamy leather to suggest that the Numero Ventuno woman is in love. Cinched with plastic belts, covered with parkas and worn over sporty bras and high waist underwear or berms, it would appear that this love is of the practical kind. But then summer flings are not without passion and mood swings either. Cue the fire engine red and black coupling midway through the collection, of which our favourite was the high-shine tank knotted over a sheer red camisole hiding a utilitarian belt and embellished black floral skirt combination. As the show came to an end, Pat Benatar's classic, "Love Is A Battlefield" blast through the speakers, delivering designer Alessandro Dell'Acqua's message with a home run.

Something you might have missed: You can't tell from the photos, but the leather hoods peppered throughout the show are worn as an accessory on their own. A trend to watch.

Catch up on all coverage from London Fashion Week spring/summer 2018