The world may be facing catastrophes of both the natural and the man-made varieties on all fronts but at Milan Fashion Week the message was loud and clear – the show must go on!
Italy’s fashion scene often comes under fire for being over obsessed with nostalgia that keeps it from being as creatively pioneering and youthful as say its British neighbours.
Nevertheless, several big powerhouses like Gucci, Prada, Versace, Missoni, Valentino and Armani to name a few, call Italy their home. And if there had to be one single destination for manufacturing luxury products, everything from buttons and fabrics to tags and shopping bags, the crown would go to Milan.
Italians take immense pride in their history and this season, Milan’s overall mood was engulfed in festivity with some major names marking their anniversaries this year.
Versace commemorated its 20th birthday in good old Gianni Versace style, where Donatella Versace invited her late brother and the brand’s founding director’s supermodel muses from the ’90s to grace the runway for an iconic throwback moment.
Angela Missoni celebrated 20 years as Creative Director of the 64-year-old fashion house Missoni that was established by her parents. The show was staged al fresco under an awning in the brand’s signature multicolour stripe, a motif that was seen throughout the collection and has come to define Missoni’s simplistic homegrown image over the years.
Prada picked up an illustrated art manifesto with comic strips replacing linear stripes in its Spring/Summer 2018 collection which seemed an extension of its Cruise 2018 show.
Etro, another birthday brand celebrating 50 years in fashion, presented a collection that wholly drew inspiration from Indian fashion and history. There were saree and sherwani referencing silhouettes, motifs ranged from traditional pinecones to Italian paisleys and amusingly enough the brand even displayed some cricket jumpers in the same arrangement.
Facsimilia of ancient Roman ruins decorated the Gucci show which was, in itself a multi-sensory experience of opulent gender bent sartorial scrapbookings.
Gucci is not the only brand that masters this art of presenting women’s and men’s collections together. Missoni, Etro and Bottega Veneta have also joined this movement that facilitates both a singular creative expression for the brand’s identity as well as makes much more economic sense.
Glamour and sensuality defined the collections of Milanese designers, who choose to empower women but prefer doing so in colourful butter-soft leather and crystal embellished lilac overalls!