Making an impact
Karl Lagerfeld creates Asian waves for Fendi while Prada goes on a life journey.
A debate launched during New York and London fashion weeks on speeding the delivery of new fashions to sate an impatient public was on designers’ minds as Milan Fashion Week started last week .
Yet the notion of strutting runway creations straight into store windows and consumers’ shopping bags, as some across the Atlantic Ocean and English Channel are contemplating, was finding some resistance in the Italian fashion system, where the focus is on creativity and craftsmanship.
Here are the highlights from Prada and Fendi:
Karl Lagerfeld is creating waves with his latest collection for Fendi, which includes undulating garments, bags and even footwear.
Manifold ruffles in the Japaninspired collection brought to mind the famed Hokusai prints of waves. Lagerfeld broke the surface with ruffles along the neckline or running down sleeves, stiff waves of leather decorating boots that rose to the knees or thighs, and the scalloped handles and edges of elaborate bags.
The optical effect of movement was prolonged by striped tops with puffy shoulders and gathered elbows, and longer, billowing dresses. Fendi’s trademark fur coats included a short blue cape- like construction that bore athletic black- and- white stripes along the bottom, and was worn with thigh- high leather boots.
The overall dark palette was brightened by aquamarine, coral, purple, mustard and turquoise. Bags were furry delights, or stiffer leather with colorful patterns, including one sunset.
Two special guests from Japan delighted Asian visitors at the show, two- meter ( 6- foot) tall Kigurumi mascots, one a pink female named Piro- chan and a blue boy called Bug- kun. Both are being reproduced in miniature as Fendi’s coveted furry bag bug charms that adorn handbags.
In a nod to the siren call of fast fashion, the bag bugs are being sold immediately on the luxury brand’s website – but with a catch. There is a limited run of 80.
Corseted up, collar askew, it’s bon voyage for Prada’s vagabond. And the journey is life.
Miuccia Prada favored military style jackets over pretty skirts and dresses for next winter’s looks. Corsets of every variety defined the silhouette, worn over jackets and dresses, or sewn into overcoats.
The looks, the designer said, were a collage representing all the different sides of a woman, including key moments of her life, “because I think we need to understand who we are now.”
The collection plays with the sly joke about whether a woman is dressing up to be an object, or to be powerful, the designer said.
Outerwear, including trenches, capes and anoraks, was of a sturdy, military breed, mostly in olive green or navy blue, and worn with ample skirts, pleated or not, often in brocade, or tiny sheer mini dresses. Sometimes, there was no skirt at all, just argyle tights. As this collection was a meditation on a women’s history, trousers just didn’t fit in.
Little purses and sets of galley keys were worn as necklaces or fastened to the neck. As in menswear, looks were finished with sailor caps, these including shiny rain- resistant versions.
Footwear included lace- up boots and shoes to echo the corset and golden sandals to wear with golden lame, embroidered dress- es that spoke to the Prada women’s worth.
Prada’s new military- inspired Pionniere and notebook- like Cahier bags were worn strapped across or dangling from the body. They go on sale immediately in boutiques in the fashion cities of Milan, London, Paris and New York, a marketing move that gives hungry consumers a taste of what they want NOW.