Ciao. The streets of Milan are alive once more with press and buyers — here to see the latest from storied names who’ve built their legacies on either master tailoring or high drama. Or both. Because nothing balances out La Dolce Vita like the rush and the flash of the paparazzi.
Dripping in logos. That was the effect Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturi Fendi gave the Fall 2018 Fendi Milan runway — sometimes literally, as slick patents flowed over trenches, oversized totes and Peekaboo bags in Fendi’s signature FF Zucca jacquard. It’s been a while since logos were so front and center, recalling a declarative, “more is more” mentality. That 80’s vibe clearly jumped from the moodboards to the runway with Dapper Dan-style lavish fur coats, acrylic and link F hoop earrings, and mink sweaters with FENDI Roma in a style reminiscent of Fila’s iconic font. From the streets to the office, these girls are working it with broad shouldered menswear style suiting, jackets and capes in bold harlequin and prince of wales check. Yet, there was modesty too. Each look was topped off with patent leather habits, knitted dickies or crisp cotton peter pan collars. Sure, the Fendi lady may be brash, but she can play innocent, when needed.
For true clothing connoisseurs, nothing excites them more than the tactile pleasure of the drape, weight and hand-feel of each chosen fabric. Gabriele Colangelo’s Fall 2018 runway was a love song to just this moment of rapture. Textiles were deftly combined for the ultimate in opposition. Smooth patent was paired with raw, nubby hides for coats with a conflicting energy. Buttery lambskin was panelled against wool suiting and knit turtlenecks — the lush now supine in shared space with the workaday. Everything was cut smart and minimalist, so as to not take attention off this deliberate juxtaposition. Colors were mostly neutral, although shots of Yves Klein blue broke thru in a righteous rebellion, such as lambskin strips on an architectural dress, or a wispy fringe coat. These moments perfectly bridged the message of the tactile coming alive thru our other senses.
Caution. With the modern female empowerment movement at the forefront of her mind, Miuccia Prada’s initial inspiration of the city at night, ultimately went from jazzy to a more a alert tone. Nearly every one of her 48 looks was done in a highlighter hue, which felt not jubilant but garish — echoing the unease a woman can feel traversing this cosmopolitan world with unknown motives behind its shiny veneer. Models went down the runway in styles that had hints of femininity but often obscured in bulky neoprenes, leathers or wools. Coverage rendered in luxurious fabrics with security badges hanging off the lapels. The whole package Prada was presenting felt frenetic, as if the city and those who live in it are all on an unsustainable pace. A dark message and dark clothes for uncertain times.