Show reviews: Highlights from MFW fall/winter 2016 — Day 1

Show reviews: Highlights from MFW fall/winter 2016 — Day 1

Milan Fashion Week

Text: Dora Aljoofri-Shrestha Andrea Sim

On the first day of Milan Fashion Week: Alessandro Michele serves up another eclectic visual feast at Gucci, Alessandro Dell'Acqua's N21 girl becomes less precious, and Roberto Cavalli delights with the rich and racy

The collection: Can a designer reference all eras in just one collection? Yes indeed. That designer is none other than Alessandro Michele. The Gucci magpie we've come to recognise and love has travelled through a time machine and returned back from the Renaissance period, Victorian era, and Studio 54, just to name a few. For fall/winter 2016, the Gucci girl (67 looks in total) is every bit as eccentric as previous outings, but Michele has turned up the luxe factor. That richness came in a generous display of shimmer (looks 47 & 63), opulent brocade (looks 20 & 42), plush fur (looks 2 & 34), and tiers and tiers of cascading ruffles (looks 23 & 46). This also marks the first time we've seen a notable range of red carpet worthy gowns. Could this be in light of the Oscars this Sunday? 

The details: The FW16 collection was a visual assault on the senses, albeit a welcomed one. Details were aplenty and heightened with tassels, fringing, marabou feathers, and loads and loads of embroidery. Trompe l'oeil effects and animal motifs continue on from the SS16 show. As with accessories, nothing sent down the runway was short of lust-worthy. But the pieces that deserve a shout out are the veiled headpieces, Pharrell-esque fedoras, knit ear beanies, and baseball caps with pompoms. Our favourite? The pompom baseball cap with tassels on look 60 worn with a sheer embroidered silk organza feathered hem gown.   

Collaboration: This season's runway show is the first time the Italian fashion house has collaborated with an artist under Michele's direction. The collection welcomes Brooklyn artist Trevor Andrew; more fondly known as Gucci Ghost or Trouble Andrew. Andrew's graffiti artwork was seen splashed across RTW pieces and accessories — most prominently, his interpretation of the house's famous interlocking GG logo. 

The collection: SoCal printed bombers, red plaid jumpers, sheer tights and heavyweight studded boots — first thought: Hedi Slimane's Saint Laurent. And following that, "Since when did Alessandro Dell'Acqua get so grungy?" Citing the 1930s as a driving force of his fall 2016 collection, uncover the designer's source of inspiration by training your eyes on the silk-satin frocks. Look 6: A plissé empire waisted dress in terracotta; look 4: A tulle, floral encrusted babydoll frock; and look 34: A slinky slip dress covered in blooms. 

Hair and makeup: With choppy blunt cut bangs (look 30) and tousled locks (look 13) as the order of the day, it screamed Courtney Love — just imagine the rocker from Hole getting feisty on stage in look 4. Not to mention, the skinhead in Dell'Acqua's model line-up also served up an extra side of punk.

Turning point: Is this the season that the N21 girl becomes less precious? Not expecting her to elbow her way through a Rolling Stones concert just yet, Dell'Acqua eases her in with gothic lace, bold leopard prints, and gossamer tights — made pretty by metallic floral embellishments. After all, wasn't it just last season we reveled in Dell'Acqua's airy ruffles, smart lattice work and pristine lace?

The collection: There was plenty to look at in Peter Dundas' second womenswear collection since his return to the Italian purveyor of opulence. A baroque centrepiece loaded with blooms served as the backdrop to the designer's fall outing, and the first look of the show — a seductive animal printed slip (surprise, surprise) under a mixed media fur coat — set the bar. Intricate embroidery reminiscent of rococo patterns crept onto velvet boleros (look 2), dresses (look 8) and jackets (look 6), and there was no shortage of fur (looks 17, 47 & 57). In short? It was a show calibrated to convey the luxury of excess. 

Try it now: The skinny scarf, seen all over the menswear FW16 runways, turned up in a lustrous incarnation at Roberto Cavalli (looks 51 & 58). Drape one end of the accessory over your shoulder to wear it perfectly undone. 

Buro loves: The stately outerwear. Capes (looks 9 & 53) and military jackets (look 33) were given the royal treatment and appliquéd to utmost decadence. That, and the fact that Dundas holds such loyalty to the signature Cavalli hues of purple, gold and emerald. 

For all coverage of Milan Fashion Week fall/winter 2016, click here