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Milan Fashion Week SS17

The Italians sure do love to put on a show and Milan Fashion Week was no exception…

Gucci under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele continues to be a riot of romance through a retro 70s filtered lens. Floral prints and jacquard jackets were paired with more ruffles and pleats than I thought conceivable to fit on one garment. The skill at play here is making sure that somehow this assault on the senses works together. The quality of materials and sophistication of tailoring elevates playful ideas into lust-worthy objects of desire. There is an element of the ridiculous in this collection, it is all a bit costume and fancy dress in places, but that is also part of the fun. Number 1 on my wishlist for this very reason is a rainbow tinsel fringed cape (below) – I am sure I will find the right occasion to wear it…


By contrast Bottega Veneta is the ultimate in Italian understated elegance; they do chic soft tailoring like no other and this collection was a tribute to that talent. Alongside classic cream basics and beautiful knitwear, soft leather separates in primary colours added a pop of bright modernity to easy tailoring. I was particularly taken with a supple, slouchy leather shirt dress in lemon yellow (below), which is a big colour trend for SS17. Actress and style icon Lauren Hutton made headlines by walking the catwalk carrying a reissue of the same leather bag she wore in classic 80s film American Gigolo, showing the timeless sex appeal and sophistication Bottega Veneta endures. It was also a testament to the quality of design that Ms. Hutton looked just as comfortable and stylish as the 20-something models walking next to her – creating design that effortlessly spans generations is quite the skill.


Dolce and Gabbana showed an archetypically on-brand collection with a focus on youth culture, demonstrated by street dancers that opened the catwalk to create the feeling of being in an Italian club. Bold bright jackets were paired with torn embellished jeans and short skirts, all alongside the classic LBDs the label is known for and some traditional floral prints. Prada (below) showed a collection that had the same themes of wearable clothes with a twist – mainly that twist was having everything trimmed with ostrich feathers! Printed dresses, wearable jackets and embellished pyjama suits were all given the feather trim treatment which although slightly bonkers somehow worked. Feathers were a thing at LFW (as seen in the Roksanda show) so time to channel your inner Fraggle Rock character… As with Gucci, both these shows were a kaleidoscope of ideas so next season get ready to clash print, colour and fabrics.


For those who shy away from the ‘more is more’ concept of this maximalism, the Marni show (below) was more of a utilitarian affair, with oversized tailoring on slouchy jumpsuits and jackets in neutral tones. This practical appeal was hammered home with the addition of oversized bumbags in beautiful canvas and leather – not a fashion item one thinks of as chic but somehow worked with a collection of quirky elegance. Another theme carried on from LFW is this relaxed, loose cut: a contemporary view on how to dress formally with the modern woman in mind.


One of my absolute favourite shows was Emilio Pucci (below) offering a lightness of touch which among the decadence of MFW felt incredibly refreshing. There was a definite 80s dancewear vibe going on from the primary colours and graphic print (take note once more – YELLOW) to chiffon skirts that had a balletic feel. Diaphanous form-fitting sheer dresses were layered over shorts, bodysuits and vests and there was an easy minimal elegance to the garments that made you want to reach out to touch the materials. The need for an iconic print from Pucci was satisfied with a more grown up neutral palette alongside the bolder brights. To complement these prints, fitted silhouettes were contrasted with geometric box sleeves giving a sense of ease and playing with proportion. These clothes felt special and sexy but eminently wearable, which I suppose is the point – I wanted to wear each and every one of the looks on show here.


Then we finish with the beautiful madness that is Jeremy Scott for Moschino (below). His designs are the very definition of having fun with fashion. These clothes are not to be taken seriously but rather to inspire and I think it is good for fashion to have a sense of humour about itself – most of all during fashion week. The collection was inspired the playing dress up with dolls, and models strutted down the catwalk wearing trompe l’oeil dresses that looked painted on, with faux cardboard tabs lining the side of each silhouette to mimic the paper tabs you’d layer over your dolls to change ‘outfits’ as a child. Although completely impractical I did think the show was adorable, and, well what better place to have fun than in Milan?