Milan Fashion Week Round Up From Harvey Nichols
Our Buying Director, Averyl Oates, reports on the latest trends and backstage news from the Spring Summer 2012 shows at Milan Fashion Week.
Saturday 24 September
No one could’ve predicted a Jil Sander collection that was Raf Simons’ best effort yet as he consistently transforms the fashion house from season to season. This time, Simons has tied together a number of themes paying homage to the Sander house style but crossed with a simplicity and optimism. Overall, there were a lot of lean tailored dresses, but flashes of colour, texture and patterns propel the minimalist theme into a collection of artistic perfection. The white dresses reflected the Simons’ perception of female roles in marriage, whilst the closing floor length, Grace Kelly style dress was a climax ending to the show.
Friday 23 September
Set in the Via Gesù show space, the glow of the lighting evoked the mood of an Italian bathhouse or swimming pool. Classic Donatella-style touches of gold studding were clearly a favourite for the designer this season as she took her bow wearing a white shift dress covered in brass gold studs. The same metal studding was seen on a variety of white and brights, pistachio greens and aquamarines. Silks, leather and neoprene were the mainstays of this outstanding collection as Donatella struck the perfect balance of a dress collection that was modern and edgy.
Designer Rossella Jardini cites the Spanish Riviera as an influence, a theme revisited by the Italian fashion house. Embroidered jackets with little bells jingling and long fringed suede dresses faired a bit too daring for most, although many other pieces were a much more wearable nod to the tribal theme. Simple dresses were embellished with Navajo style beading and home-spun heart patterns cemented the ethnic trend at Moschino.
Thursday 22 September
All eyes were on this show as the label announced on Twitter that it will be the last D&G collection, and the designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were to focus on their main signature line. A mix of old-school scarf prints, Dolce & Gabbana’s back catalogue and a dash of Hermès set the tone for this winning runway show. Heritage crests, polka dots, butterflies, flowers and medallions were emblazoned on silk/chiffons in the boldest way possible. Scarves were wrapped and knitted into tops, shorts, and even wedges. As prints continue to make waves on the catwalks and the front rows, today, D&G succeeded in leaving a lasting impression of vibrant Italian kitsch.
MaxMara’s latest offering had an extremely minimal and sporty silhouette, which was heightened by the ribbed capris, a staple in this pared down collection. Several looks featured three bands of colour- tan, white, aqua and beige, were mostly seen on body-con jersey dresses. Occasional pieces had some Frankenstein-style stitching and perforated leather/suede panelling. Key pieces were the cocoon aqua dress and the white and beige playsuit with mesh panels.
Wednesday 21 September
Gucci was born in 1921, but apparently the Art Deco prints were a natural progression for the brand. Showing dresses with a graphic black, white and bronze colour-blocking and embroideries bring the collection up to date. The tailoring had a mannish quality; jackets were short and boxy, whilst trousers were high-waisted with tuxedo stripes. Continuing the autumn trend of luxe-leathers and metallic finishes, key pieces include the black and gold leather shirt dress laser-cut to a fringing finish, metallic panelled sheer tanks were also popular. The colour palette was mainly monochrome, gold and a flash of emerald, evoking the glam-twenties era perfectly.