RA­DIANT ECLECTICISM

L'officiel 1000 modeless - - Milan Printemps Été 2016 - — By Ka­ren Rouach, in Mi­lan, and Ma­thilde Ber­thier

Bet­ween first trials and safe in­vest­ments, Mi­lan pro­du­ced an op­ti­mis­tic har­vest, full of good sur­prises. Adepts at mi­ni­ma­lism, de­fen­ders of ec­cen­tri­ci­ty and Ita­lian ro­man­tics com­pe­ted on an ex­tre­me­ly dy­na­mic stage.

This sea­son mar­ked Pe­ter Dun­das’ first steps as ar­tis­tic di­rec­tor at Ro­ber­to Ca­val­li. Dun­das knows the fashion house well be­cause he wor­ked there for a long time, along­side its foun­der. Co­ming back, he seems to need to rein­ter­pret the codes of the Flo­ren­tine la­bel in his own way: de­nim, fading, exag­ge­ra­ted flounces, asym­me­tric eve­ning gowns, and stud­ded suede tops, de­vise a more wea­rable war­drobe than in the past. Mas­si­mo Gior­get­ti al­so cros­sed his fin­gers for his first col­lec­tion at Emi­lio Puc­ci. Af­ter plun­ging in­to the fashion house’s ar­chives for weeks, Gior­get­ti chose not to emerge with se­ven­ties prints. This sea­son, he’s ob­ses­sed with the uni­verse of sai­ling: dresses and pants fa­shio­ned like fi­shing nets, shell and crab mo­tifs, and mer­maid tops com­pose this unex­pec­ted new war­drobe. Meanw­hile, Ar­thur Ar­bes­ser tried out at Ice­berg, with knit­ted dresses, stripes, and co­lor­ful suits. A trans­for­ma­tive test for Ales­san­dro Mi­chele at Guc­ci, who, in his se­cond col­lec­tion for the la­bel, brought to­ge­ther sa­lon wo­men, Vic­to­rian he­roines, and mo­dern bour­geoi­sie. Ins­pi­red by the map of Ten­der, an ima­gi­na­ry coun­try crea­ted by Ma­de­leine de Scu­dé­ry and others in the se­ven­teenth cen­tu­ry, Ales­san­dro Mi­chele ima­gines a war­drobe for a BCBG li­bra­rian, hid­den be­neath ex­tra-di­men­sio­nal ruffles and over­size glasses. For­ti­fied by its long his­to­ry, which ins­pires the youn­gest de­si­gners in tran­si­tion, Mi­lan could ne­ver dis­sa­point. More eclec­tic than ever, the Pra­da wo­man is dres­sed in a rea­lis­tic yet re­tro sil­houette, all in char­ming layers. Stripes, trans­pa­ren­cies, straight skirts, and fi­sh­net de­co­ra­ted ja­ckets cha­rac­te­rize this dream war­drobe. A few mi­nutes be­fore laun­ching his au­to­bio­gra­phy, Giorgio Armani, 81 years old, once more re­ga­led his clients with luminous clothing for night and day. The bus­tier dresses, sa­tin and silk shorts and gra­phic ja­ckets of­fer an em­bar­rass­ment of choices. Etro is conti­nuous­ly gypsy; with va­po­rous dresses, flo­we­red and so­mew­hat trans­pa­rent, oc­ca­sio­nal­ly em­broi­de­red or bel­ted with a rib­bon. The dance theme is not ob­vious at first glance, yet ve­ry present; as de­mons­tra­ted by the la­ced bal­let slip­pers, leo­tards, and wrap-over tops that al­most pas­sed un­no­ti­ced. To­mas Maier at Bot­te­ga Ve­ne­ta wor­ked on “big open spaces, na­ture with a ca­pi­tal ‘N’, trek­king, tents, wa­ter, but al­so the form, struc­ture, and mo­ve­ment of sails.” A whole pro­gram trans­la­ted by out­fits prin­ted with warm co­lors, dresses ins­pi­red by the forms of sails, here-and-there em­broi­de­red with ropes, sna­king girdles, lace, and even leo­pard. On the Fen­di catwalk, we come back to more ba­roque fashion, foun­ded in sphe­ri­cal forms and high-col­lars, nod­ding to fe­mi­nine cos­tumes of old. Bet­ween Ita­lian re­nais­sance and six­ties fren­zy, this new col­lec­tion by Sil­via Ven­tu­ri­ni and Karl La­ger­feld is symp­to­ma­tic of a trend for confi­dent­ly mixing he­te­ro­ge­neous styles… with rein­vi­go­ra­ting co­que­try. In Olym­pic form, Do­na­tel­la Ver­sace, hel­ped by a ma­gis­te­rial cas­ting, de­li­ve­red per­fect­ly mas­te­red sil­houettes, rea­dy to confront the ur­ban jungle. Sa­ha­rans, mi­ni dresses, ca­mou­fla­ged suits with sexy slits and asym­me­tries abound. An­ge­la Missoni made a tri­bal pro­po­si­tion this year, for her fa­mi­ly’s zig­zag­ged la­bel. Long and mi­cro shorts com­pete for bet­ter and for worse. Still mi­ni­ma­lis­tic at Jill San­der. Fresh cuts, sur­pri­sing de­tails, and coi­led pieces add the right amount of pre­cio­si­ty wi­thout ta­king from the po­wer­ful non­cha­lance, and in­herent sexi­ness, of the war­drobe. Frills and stripes are the or­der of the day for Salvatore Fer­ra­ga­mo. Mas­si­mi­lia­no Gior­net­ti takes re­fuge in the two fads that func­tion ve­ry well these days. In the same line, Max Ma­ra takes a shine to stripes and stars: the fashion house af­fixes them confi­dent­ly to classic fe­mi­nine pieces (so­me­times in over­size ver­sion). Pro­ving that, so­me­times, sim­pli­ci­ty is a good thing. At Marni, Con­sue­lo Cas­ti­glio­ni ele­vates the apron to the prin­ciple piece of her sum­mer col­lec­tion. Short, middle-length, or maxi, it’s worn laye­red over turtle-ne­cked tank-tops, ul­tra fla­red pants, or em­broi­de­red skirts. The Alberti Fer­ret­ti col­lec­tion takes ins­pi­ra­tion from the de­sert, whe­re­fore the ter­ra­cot­ta co­lo­red war­drobe, com­po­sed among other things of drea­mi­ly flo­wing dresses. Loyal to him­self, Phi­lipp Plein put on a fes­tive show. Bet­ween ro­bots in ac­tion, Court­ney Love gave rhythm to the mo­dels’ walk with a live per­for­mance, a ve­ri­table rock concert that pai­red well with the li­mit­punk col­lec­tion. At Moschino, the at­trac­tion was a ve­ri­table construc­tion site that ser­ved as a ba­ck­drop to this new col­lec­tion de­si­gned by Je­re­my Scott. Com­po­sed of di­rect references to traf­fic si­gnage, or play­ful tur­no­vers (traf­fic cones worn on mo­dels’ heads, no-en­try si­gns worn as head­bands, bar­rier tape worn as belts, fluo­res­cent ban­ded dresses…), re­vea­ling the col­lec­tion to be ideal for stu­dying the high­way code or sim­ply glo­wing at night. In­cor­ri­gible party girl, the Giamba wo­man is sa­tis­fied with her pop war­drobe: lace dresses or tights em­broi­de­red with mouth, star, or lips­tick mo­tifs; co­lor­ful out­fits prin­ted with doll mo­tifs (Giamba doll)… there is more than enough to dance with all sum­mer. At Ds­qua­red2, Dean and Dan Ca­ten plun­ged back in­to the eigh­ties with a line full of hu­mor, where neon and furs rule. But in Mi­lan like el­sew­here, no one ap­plauds at the end of shows any­more. The fault, doubt­less­ly, of eve­ryone’s ob­ses­sive need to pho­to­graph the fi­nale with their smart­phones. Now, people express their plea­sure in ano­ther way: post­ing pho­tos of the show on­to ins­ta­gram for example, or ta­king backs­tage sel­fies with the de­si­gner. At Dolce & Gabbana, they de­ci­ded to play with that: the mo­dels (dres­sed as usual in ve­ry Ita­lian dresses) wal­ked down the run­way with their cell­phones bla­tant­ly in hand, ta­king sel­fies with the pu­blic. But as ru­mor has it, fun­ni­ly enough, there was no Wi-Fi in the room… As eve­ning falls, Mi­lan is stran­ge­ly well-be­ha­ved: Guc­ci dis­cre­te­ly ce­le­bra­ted Ales­san­dro Mi­chele’s se­cond col­lec­tion for the la­bel. Deb­bie Har­ry pro­vi­ded the beat for the amfAR be­ne­fit ga­la. Ralph Lauren un­vei­led his Pa­laz­zo, a new pri­vate club. Gi­ven­chy co­py-pas­ted their New York af­ter party (Ni­cki Mi­naj in­clu­ded). While Moschino and Missoni each re­cei­ved their loyal friends for din­ner in an un­pre­ten­tious res­tau­rant. The most fa­shio­nable spot, fi­nal­ly, were the su­perb halls of the Pra­da Foun­da­tion. But you had to wake up ear­ly to take full ad­van­tage of the view.

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