Fash­ion trends of­ten doc­u­ment sea­sonal zeit­geists, mir­ror­ing what the world is go­ing through. this sea­son, they might just be an sos call to su­per­heroes

DA MAN - Style - - Contents -

There was some­thing about Prada’s run­way show that’s very un­set­tling. Some of the looks had shirt col­lars that were turned up un­kemptly, sleeves that were hang­ing and drag­ging, and clothes wrongly but­toned. The sea­son’s high­lighted shirts, made in col­lab­o­ra­tion with artist Christopher Chemin, were de­sir­able but the­mat­i­cally dark de­spite the pre­tense of cheery col­ors— one rein­ter­prets the cat­a­strophic story of Noah’s Ark, and another de­picts a chaotic fight be­tween Sig­mund Freud, Frida Kahlo, and a bunch of the most ec­cen­tric per­son­al­i­ties who ever lived. Even more in­tim­i­dat­ing was the set­ting it­self. To a lay­man, it’s a cold struc­ture, with dra­matic light­ing and an odd, raised cen­ter stage. In Prada’s own words, it is an auto- da- fé, a rit­ual of pub­lic penance for con­demned heretics.

Back­stage, de­signer Mi­uc­cia Prada men­tioned “immigration, famine, as­sas­si­na­tion” as the key­words that un­der­lined the tone of the show. The world was go­ing through such a cri­sis in Fe­bru­ary this year, that even lux­ury brands like Prada wouldn’t let it go un­ac­knowl­edged. In a press state­ment that fol­lowed af­ter, she re­marked, “It’s an ex­cur­sion through his­tory, con­nect­ing what’s hap­pen­ing now with what hap­pened in his­tory. See if there’s any­thing we can learn.”

Yes, it’s a trou­bled world we live in. But should we dis­play that on the run­way? Prada, clev­erly, didn’t only present a lit­tle “chaos” through styling, but, on a big­ger scale, wanted to re­frame the way we imag­ine mil­i­tary heroes and sailors re­turn­ing from trou­bled de­ploy­ments. No­tice how that idea alone had trans­posed into the most beau­ti­ful ac­ces­sories for the sea­son: the one- chain bracelet, faux keys (although this gives the wearer a prison-guard look), and small bag charms with mini an­chors on them.

If Prada leaned on the mil­i­tary and sailors, both An­to­nio Mar­ras and Dolce & Ga­banna sought refuge in the Wild West. The for­mer’s run­way was awash with cow­boy hats, neck­er­chiefs and, in­ter­est­ingly, flo­ral prints. It’s a modern take on an Amer­i­can tra­di­tion, but the Ital­ian blood in de­signer An­to­nio Mar­ras pushed him to dar­ingly pro­pose a snazzy combo of boots and suits— cre­at­ing a brand new breed of 21st- cen­tury gen­tle­men.

A more modern take—if that’s even pos­si­ble—was of­fered by Dolce & Gab­bana, whose mod­els were livestream­ing videos while walk­ing down the run­way. The clothes were like­wise busy with printed images of guns, roses, horse­shoe and even car­toon ren­di­tions of Domenico Dolce and Ste­fano Gab­bana with their pets. No­body would con­test their skill­ful cuts and sil­hou­ettes, but with all those child­ish in­ter­pre­ta­tions … it’s just too much of a cir­cus, in the end.

Dolce & Gab­bana’s show, how­ever, was noth­ing com­pared to Philipp Plein’s. No­to­ri­ously over the top, the Mu­nich-based brand scored yet another “most ram­bunc­tious show-and-party” ti­tle in this year’s Mi­lan fash­ion week. Rap­per L’il Wayne kicked off the “con­cert,” fol­lowed by a bunch of BMX- ers and skaters dash­ing through ramps while wear­ing LED-fit­ted out­fits. Just a few min­utes later, mod­els rushed in to fill the very large space. While some may take it as a mes­sage about slow­ing down and tak­ing things se­ri­ously, they couldn’t be fur­ther from the truth. The black- dom­i­nated col­lec­tion was stranger than fic­tion, with con­spic­u­ous lo­gos of Bat­man, Su­per­man, Spi­der­man, Cap­tain Amer­ica and other su­per­heroes plas­tered all ev­ery­where. It looked kitsch, and even tacky, although when each look was taken in­de­pen­dently, the large amount of biker-in­spired clothes—in­clud­ing jack­ets, pants and coats—were beau­ti­fully done. That is, again, if only we can get past the gaudy “S”-in-a- di­a­mond logo.

“the world was go­ing through such a cri­sis, that even lux­ury brands like prada wouldn’t let it go un­ac­knowl­edged”

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