February 14-18 was London Fashion Week and Milan followed right on its heels, showing Feb 19-24. As we discuss European fashions, where genuine voice and authentic skill reigns, there is sure to be something awe inspiring. Or perhaps a bit mystifying…let’s take a look! And don’t forget to tune back in for full length show videos.
When was the last time you saw a muff? Have you ever seen a muff? They dotted the Shrimps runway, and I didn’t hate it. Inspirations came from 40s styles and regality, particularly Princess Margaret. It seemed to fall a little on the bourgeoisie side, but it’s worth noting that the company worked with an Italian mill that created environmentally conscious fabrics. Coats are made of a short sable fur that gives you the look without the guilt.
Make and entrance and have an out of body experience, says Matty Bovan. He hoped to challenge silhouettes as he experimented with collage, layering, draping and knitting with upcycled denim, crystals and zealous prints. It was an intriguing point of view, but I won’t be holding my breath to see it on the mean streets of… well, anywhere. What a shame.
Ashley Williams cats and clowns and Mona Lisa’s, oh my! These odd sources of inspiration were haphazard in presentation. Acid washed, bow adorned, denim dress wasn’t cool while the money printed babydoll dress was kitschy, but unimpressive. Brand loyalist can relax knowing her signature fringe hems were incorporated.
A well thought out presentation is just as strong as a runway in my opinion. Temperley London exceed once again, sharing relaxed and crisp styles. Models meandered about in a Georgian townhouse on Breton Street wearing jazz and flapper inspired creations. Quilting, pearl buttons, even tasteful sheer made dresses indulged in romance as much as they did strength. It made me very happy to see such pretty and practical day wear options. 6 handbags are available for the first time from the company. I think I might try a 3 piece suit this fall for myself.
Now onto Milan, it’s always a treat to see inspiring ways that brands we love put styles through a new approach or from a different viewpoint that are totally innovative. Fashion after all, is the second largest business sector in Italy after industrial fabrication!
Vivetta used upcycled and certified recycled fabrics in 30% of its show. It was calmer than before, but still very unique, using countryside landscapes on jackets, dresses and skirts. 10 black and white pieces closed out the show of 40 ensembles, but the pops of colorful items gave off a cheerful vibe. Charismatic and sustainable, there isn’t a single reason not to adore these styles.
Giorgio Armani actually cancelled the show and live streamed it, because of the Corona virus breaking out in Italy. Archived couture pieces from the past 10 years of Asian influence were shown in solidarity and sympathy of the spreading disease.
The runway was a very rich, almost entirely in black and full of velvety attire. Proportional and gorgeously tailored, the beauty exuded despite the chaos around it. Standouts included double breasted jackets that paired well with soft shades of neon green and pink.
One more note worth mentioning, to protect industry stakeholders employees and guests, his Dubai event in April has also been cancelled. Hopefully we will get the strong arm over this disease soon
Gucci runways often remind me of shopping thrift. Yes, there are treasures all around, but its up to us to find them. And that can be a daunting task at times, even a fruitless endeavor. I fully planned on ripping the collection to its thread for sport, but I have to admit I was impressed with it’s spirit. Leather harnesses were the odd accessory of the season, especially paired with a childlike school uniform or pinafore.
70s hippies and 90s grunge, even Catholicism inspired this runway to the fullest maximalist ability. Attendees even were allowed backstage to witness hair and makeup before models went out for the show. Alessandro Michele’s wanted the unseen work in a fashion show to be apart of the spectacle. “I have always considered the fashion show as an event bursting with enchantment”. He added that he feels a fashion show is a ritual for him. It’s intense and out of the ordinary. Epiphanies and expanded thoughts can divide what seems sensible. Where fashion can go beyond clothing and be art, Gucci will make sure that art is one of a kind. Even if it might be reaching for the moon.
The truest fashionightmare moment was Phillip Plein’s ill considered runway; a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant. Limited edition, rhinestone jerseys, sneakers and sweaters upset fans for good reason. It felt like a cheap attention grab. But wait, there’s more! He lined the runway with gold helicopters. Then Plein claimed the show had been planned months before the unexpected incident and the helicopters couldn’t be omitted, it was just “bad timing”. He told Page Six that he will donate profits of the capsule collection to Bryant’s foundation, but he could have just owned up to poor execution. Maybe next time don’t try to capitalize on a tragedy!
What was your favorite show from London or Milan Fashion Week?
Photos courtesy of Vogue and Elle
Quote from Alessandro Michele, Fashionista.com, Tyler Mccall, Feb 20, 2020