Milan Fashion Week autumn/winter 2018: 10 key shows.
The newest addition to the Fondazione Prada complex, a tower, was the backdrop for Miuccia Prada’s latest show. Models walked against the dark Milan cityscape, lit only by large neon Prada signs, a flaming heeled shoe, a monkey, bananas, a dinosaur, all past Prada motifs. The mix of fluorescent hi-tech and heavy elements of sportswear and digital prints was offset with feminine touches, flowers on tulle, bows, sequins and corsetry. The hero pieces were tweed skirts and wonderful coats, interspersed with strapless cocktail dresses.
Opening with a signature embellished lingerie-like dress, worn with a parka that appeared as if borrowed from her boyfriend, Dell Acqua’s majorette parade showcased a more rebellious No. 21 girl. Tougher still were the mohair knits and lumberjack shirts worn with vinyl trousers and skirts in off-colour tones. The shrunken intarsia knits were notable, worn with a military trouser with crystal stripes running down the side.
Models walked through an operating theatre set hung with surgical lights. Alessandro Michele likened the operating table to his design studio where he splices, cuts and sews together layers of fabrics to create the collection. Juxtaposed to Michele’s signature eclectic mix of prints seen on folk dresses and Chinese pyjamas were pared down moments – a tweed suit monogrammed with NY, 80s suiting and oversized bomber jackets with the New York Yankees logo. The topline were the accessories, knitted and lace balaclavas, fringed embellished headpieces and a baby dragon.
This was a collection with a slick expertly cut edge. Bold colour 1960s tailored cape and jacket skirt suits dominated the show. Scott morphed his models into Jackie Onassis/Pan Am flight attendant lookalikes. The bold printed looks scattered throughout came from Scott’s collaboration with the illustrator Ben Frost, whose kaleidoscopic pop art will keep Scott fans happy. Skirts and dresses transformed into spliced silver beaded evening gowns that Marilyn Monroe and Jackie O would surely have fought over.
Layers of hi tech fabrics, wide shoulder puffer jackets, sporty knitwear and jersey were the cornerstones of the Sportmax collection, contrasted with wool checks, cut with precision into technical tailoring. Lighter moments came with a fluid pleated skirt and intarsia performance knitwear. Highlights were in the detailing, each statement silhouette came with removable quilted hoods, in a pop of bright yellow, green and colbalt blue on coats jackets and knitwear. The result was wholly desirable.
Tod’s sporty leisurewear is perfect for a stylish dog walk as illustrated by Gigi Hadid on the catwalk cradling a Boston terrier puppy. Oversized fleeces, layered over hi tech fabric tops and worn with leather trousers tucked into shearling boots felt luxuriously crafted and modern. Featured throughout were teddy bear shearling, butter-soft leather in buttercup and toffee tones, a suede tracksuit and relaxed leather shirt dresses. Patent leather coats, rain macs and parkas in wipe-down coatings stood out as the key pieces for next autumn.
“Romantic femininity for a powerful woman” was Silvia Venturi Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld’s aim. Achieved with a sharp silhouette with box shoulders, layered over capes, slips and belted coats, neat lines that pleated out from the hips with trompe l’oeil yoke detailing. Slim tailored coats and skirt suits in prince of wales checks were exquisite. Pointed Cuban heeled western boots gave the looks a contemporary feel. The reintroduction of the Fendi double-F logo appeared over everything from tights to sweatshirts to and baguette bags.
Backstage pre-show, Paul Surridge explained that for AW18 it was all glamour, ease and confidence for the Roberto Cavalli woman. A play on hiding and revealing, a dress with a split to reveal a leg, another with a cutout detail to expose the décolletage. It opened with a tailored coat in a heritage print, inspired by Surridge’s menswear background. Proportions allowed for a little more fun, suiting had a fluid movement, fabrics and colours were rich because as he explained, status in fashion is important, for example in luxury detail such as the chain and pearl decorations.
Classic doesn’t have to be conservative was the message at MaxMara. Lara Stone opened the show in full leopard spots, a luxe oversized coat draped below her shoulders, layered over a voluminous floor-sweeping blanket skirt and cashmere knit. Then followed a full slick black leather look, floor-length kilts, pencil skirts in English tweed and checks. The hero, as always, was the the coat, from the teddy bear shearling to an embellished duffle to the maxi-trench, this was a masterclass in outerwear.
The title of the collection – The Clans of Versace – is about characters and personalities, Donatella explained. This season the Versace woman stands out from the crowd through her own style choices. From the runway you could determine your clan by your choice of print of or whether you favoured a heel or a trainer. The colour palette was bold, opening with a slick trench coat, preceded by a clash of tartan, a draped midi skirted with archive pop print, cinched at the waist with a Versace logo belt.