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Milan Fashion Week 2016 Spring Summer show started in the best way possible and waited! Alessandro Michele’s second Gucci collection seemed at first, to be the BIG winner of Milan Fashion Week 2016 Spring Summer! Gucci new creative director pick up where it had left off in Autumn/Winter 2015-16, with the Spring/Summer 2016 Milan show opening looks featuring a continuation of the designer’s penchant for sensual lacy dresses, pussy bow blouses and tasseled loafers. Milan Design Agenda shares with you “Day one best moments” of Milan Fashion Week 2016 Spring Summer debut!
At the start of his show designer Alessandro Michele gave an auditory nod to Mother Nature, heralding his spring/summer 2016 collection with his own thunderstorm and clap of lighting on the soundtrack. But no amount of ill weather was going to derail Michele from his chosen sartorial path of giving the world a treasure trove of heartfelt designs that read on the runway like vintage finds and fabrics reworked to create a modern femininity.
The show got its starting point in a faux French map called “Carte de Tendre” that appeared at the start of a novel by Madeleine de Scudéry in 1654. A map designed to indicate the mountains and valleys of a fictional place called Tendre, it was supposed to indicate the route to find love (check out Gucci’s Instagram feed for an up-close look at the map). How fitting this image, and what it represents, is in terms of Michele’s romantic world view.
Instead of introducing a whole new clothing cosmos every six months, Michele has decide to develop and delve deeper into his whimsical world each season, a choice that feels modern and precious at the same time. So the fur slide-on slippers from his first womenswear show reappeared on the catwalk, as did the vibrant lace dresses and overall slightly shrunken silhouettes.
Into that mix Michele added his interpretation of the current ruffle trend in the form of a trompe-l’œil design on cuffs and collars of dresses. He added a larger range of pleated skirts in playful motifs of pineapples and parrots, fantastical maps or high octane blooms – count on them being snapped up next season, while a retro brown fur coat embellished with climbing green vines was all about the allure of granny chic.
Milan Fashion Week 2016 Spring Summer show also clearly underlined the fact that Michele spend a fair share of his first 12 years at Gucci in the accessories department, given the copious amount of covetable handbags, each one looking as if the owner had personalized it themselves — which is hugely appealing and will get the tills ringing around the world for the Italian house. Meanwhile, aspirational items like the oversized glasses, fingerless gloves and chunky rings will inspire a generation of knock-offs.
Alberta Ferretti took the fashion world flying across a crystal blue desert sky. Her bird’s eye video backdrop transported the audience, as if they were a hawk gliding on a hot breeze, above the snaking sands that passed underneath like an endless river of gold.
This was a poetic introduction to a collection that showed the designer turning in her favorite jewel hues and in their stead going with an exotic desert spice palette that gave an earthy originality to the show. The effect was of luxe peasant princesses whose chiffon dresses were threaded through golden rings at the neckline, came braided along the waist or appeared woven into being at the bodice.
When Ferretti moved away from her trademark lace and transparent offerings, the collection showed a nice graphic development. The architectural ethic print used on maxi dresses looked novel and enticing.
However, the final series of more structured pieces, crafted out of fabric made to resemble veiny dried leaves, proved to be slightly eerie organic concoctions that felt dissonant with the rest of this desert-inspired show. The heat of which will warm the coffers of the Ferretti brand next season.
It’s safe to say Les Copains finally got its groove back. In her second season as creative director, Stefania Bandiera, wife of the brand’s owner, decided to wow the Asian buyers with a collection that spoke to the ladies of the East’s powerful merchant class.
Wide-legged pantsuits made of paper-like silk, as well as peplum dresses crafted in elaborate tri-dimensional knits that recall Japanese origami, fed the image Bandiera sought to portray of the “contemporary geisha, who is an educated traveler, sophisticate and art lover.”
Cherry blossom prints and embroidered floral jacquards were main protagonists in Bandiera’s adaptation of “Madame Butterfly.” Black bandeau tops, elastic belts and knee-high banded stiletto sandals infused the collection with just the right amount of “Kill Bill” femme fatale to wake the crowd up from their delightful zen garden slumber.
In the same vein, Bandiera really showed with this collection that she is also growing more confident and is taking possession of the brand’s identity. A welcome change, after Les Copains sailed without a captain for several seasons — appearing at one point that it was lost at sea. Now we have finally seen the shore in the horizon.
As in seasons past, Stella Jean’s show was a vibrant cultural nook. Despite its bold colors and zingy patterns, this was no straightforward travel story. Migration was the topic the Italo-Haitian designer highlighted Wednesday through her Spring offering, which she showcased, refreshingly, on a multi-racial model cast.
Departure was the starting point, and the designer’s printed T-shirts emblazoned with imagery from Once Upon a Time in America—the Sergio Leone film—was a pithy reference to Italy’s historical flux. From there, sweeping in scope, the saturated colors, rich textures, and intricate detailing of the opening looks drew references from South American climes.
Overlapping continents, Jean’s signature Wax & Stripes designs—made of vibrant patterns worn across West Africa—appeared as ruffle-sleeved tunics and skirts and prim appropriations of silk pussy-bow blouses. From there the collection shifted to England. Highlighting the current exponential growth of Italian immigration to the U.K., Savile Row tailoring was the designer’s inspiration, and trenchcoats and natty shirting the material result.
Embracing what her label is known for—using African prints on European forms—Jean’s barefooted finale consisted of very commercial beachwear with a retro ’50s air—a breezy way to end her powerful, far-flung adventure.
One can always count on a pithy comment from those Milan stalwarts Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi. “Chaotic elegance,” deadpanned Rimondi, describing the design duo’s latest collection for Fay, which is one part of the Tod’s empire. It was also an apt phrase to describe many of the showgoers’ outfits as heavy rainstorms lashed the city on its first day of runway shows, causing inevitable traffic havoc and wardrobe mayhem.
But chaotic is not a word one would ordinarily use to describe these designers’ aesthetic, which tends to be defined by pristine, prettified clothes. This season their deft precision was worked on the military field jacket, a small point of reference, and its myriad possibilities. Where a chaotic notion entered, it was in setting the rigor of combat garb against traditional paisley curlicues, embroidery, ruching, and prints that had a shade of Bloomsbury about them. The elongated sleeve proportions added a more youthful element to the uniform improvisation.
Floral-print dresses and pretty separates, like a cute blush suede frock, came with scalloped sleeves and cutout paisley swirls. To counter some of that girlishness, and with a knowing nudge to the designers’ desire to add a younger following to their loyal clientele, the Fay field jacket will likely have mass appeal.
It hit their runway in numerous iterations: cropped and in a more urban denim version, in white. There were navy incarnations, too, and a series of embroidered styles had a semblance of Tyrolean influence. A small idea for a larger world.
What to see tomorrow at Milan Fashion Week 2016 Spring Summer show?
8:30 Max Mara
10:30 Luisa Beccaria | Maliparmi
14:00 Emilio Pucci
15:00 Costume National
16:00 Cristiano Burani
17:00 Daniela Gregis | PRADA
See how fashion was the main inspiration to achieve this luxury house decoration: