Milan Fashion Week fall/winter 2020: First impressions, and the best moments of the Missoni, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani runways
MISSONI: SHAPE OF YOU
First impression: It was all anyone could talk about. No, not Missoni, but the COVID-19 virus. Its descent into Milan was unexpected. At the time — before the school closures and the government mandate about events and large crowds — the show could choose to go on, or not, so it forged ahead. Irina Shayk was seen all over Missoni's Instagram, teasing a collection we now know is a kaleidoscope of Missoni's DNA, with contemporary notes. Yes, knits were on the hot and heavy. Yes, stripes and chevrons went in every direction. Notably, there were also slouchy suits and sportswear for women, as well as hints of the '90s and rock and roll influences for men.
Favourite looks: Pulling together animal prints in itself is no easy feat. Harmonising them with various geometrical shapes is another beast altogether, one Missoni tamed with flying colours in look 20. Soft is the power Missoni wields with its knit as a shield, so the strength in the pared-back (relative to the rest of the line-up) set in look 34 was a sight to behold. Other highlights included the now-you-see-it-now-you-don't embellishments on look 35's robe, the tonal play of look 42, and the very sexy polo tunic Bella Hadid pulled off with aplomb from look 60.
Favourite accessories: Missoni isn't known for their accessories but the idea of its slim scarves as bag straps is an intriguing one.
DOLCE & GABBANA: LIVING OBJECTS
First impression: Some things, you can't help taking for granted. Patterns and behaviours, and by extension, history and tradition, guide us in our understanding of the world. We find comfort in the things we can predict with a semblance of accuracy — that Marni's unfinished garments tell tales about the environment; that Gucci is a time machine that travels the decades; that Dolce & Gabbana is rooted in traditional femininity expressed through sensuality. Those codes, we can count on. That way, Dolce & Gabbana remains faithful to branding, in the sense that the upcoming season's clothes are still feminine, still sensual. But its connection to its past fall/winter turns are severed there. Absent are the loud prints, the mega! ultra! blinding! sparkles, the unabashed opulence. What we have instead (and we're not complaining) are 121 attempts at a grown-up wintry wardrobe, most of which are successful.
Favourite looks: As the saying goes, "God is in the details". Considering Dolce & Gabbana named their collection "Fatto a Mano", Italian for "handmade", and gave credit to the creative ingenuity and craftsmanship of their artisans, God had to be in the details. At first glance, the gang's all here: crochet, cross stitches, lace netting, weft embroideries... the know-how shone through most evidently in the party dresses, Peter Pan tunics, and the oversized tweeds.
Favourite accessories: The cable knit bags, in crossbody, tote, and shoulder variants, caught our attention. Extra points for originality.
GIORGIO ARMANI: KNOCK, KNOCK
First impression: Anybody home? Giorgio Armani was, so were the models he cast to walk the runway for his fall/winter 2020 collection. There wasn't a single soul sitting at the theatre at Via Bergognone, however, as the show was cancelled. Or rather, it was still going to happen, but nobody was invited anymore. Due to the rapid rise of cases involving the coronavirus in the region of Lombardy (where Milan is), Giorgio Armani was unintendedly thrust into the heart of the digital world as he presented his latest work to no one but the thousands of watchful eyes in the Internet through live-streaming cameras.
Favourite looks: As Milan braces itself for attack, Armani skated calmly in his lane. Safe were the collarless jackets, the velvet robes, and the mainstays of silver separates. The classics did make room for a couple of hot button trends, namely the courageous use of lime (previously seen at Bottega Veneta), dramatic ruffles (Max Mara likes them too), and fringed hems (it would be a shorter list to name the labels that did not give this a go this season).
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