Friday, March 4, 2016

Time To Review Milan, Yes?

With Milan Fashion Week comes that bittersweet sensation that Fashion Month is about to come to an end. It is the third of the four fashion capitals and thus, it is with slight sadness that we part ways and enter our final city. Before we do so, I'd like to reflect on the magic that took place in Milan this past week. Let me begin by saying that I may be tearing up as I write this report, but Milan brought joy and happiness to my heart with every runway show. This season, it was all about loud retro prints, some romantic cuts, and a heck of a lot of colour. We saw an array of mixed prints at Emilio Pucci and Salvatore Ferragamo to make us feel like we were on drugs. The rock n' roll glamour at N21 and Roberto Cavalli also happened to have this affect. And how about those retro cuts and geometric shapes at Prada and Gucci for the quirky girl in all of us? There was something for everyone at Milan Fashion Week and though each collection showcased something different, they all shared one common feeling: vivacity. If there's anything one can learn from Milan, it's how to embrace life, and in this case, fashion is what breathed life into all of us. Now, let's take a look at some of the collections that brought me to life this week.

There may be a reason the word "Etro" is in "Retro". Just saying. This collection featured an array of 90s inspired looks featuring edgy leather biker jackets topped over slinky black lace dresses. Another 90s trend that made an appearance? The sheer floral dress at the floor-length or cut right at the ankle. There were prints galore aside from the traditional floral, including an oversized plaid coat, some heavy striped sweaters, and brocade. Essentially, if you aren't into prints, this collection probably isn't for you. Veronica Etro's ability to combine the heavy with the light when it comes to her fabrics is a skill on its own that requires a rule breaker attitude mixed with some artistic inclinations (or maybe they're one in the same). A few notable accessories? Some knitted berets and long scarves that dragged onto the ground like an afterthought that worked out way too well.

Something felt different this year at Versace. Usually it feels a little too sexy for me with slits to the upper thigh and deep Vs that scream wardrobe malfunction. While the overall sex appeal of the Versace brand was still present, something about this collection it felt more real. Allow me to explain. From the moment Gigi Hadid walked down the runway in an oversized navy coat and NOT a bodycon dress, I knew something was up at Versace (despite her endless legs). The first few looks remained in the navy and black tones with cinched waists and highly conservative cuts. The collection then took a strange turn with a much more athleisure approach. Models strutted down the catwalk in striped crop tops, gloves that looked like knee-high soccer socks, and fitted dresses with very obvious sportswear influences in baby blues and corals. Donatella then took us into a world filled with bright colours such as yellow and red while keeping a conservative approach with her shapes and hemlines. At the very end, the designer brought back a few microminis to keep us on our toes and remind us that she is the queen of sexy. It was just enough for it to still feel like Versace, but with a slightly fresher view.

It wouldn't be a review of Milan without a look at Giambattista Valli's Giamba collection (a recurring one on my blog). My obsession with this collection raises concerns and tugs at my heart strings simultaneously. It is filled with youthful touches like frills and flared hems, but with rebellious/Lolita undertones. It's about the good girl gone bad who consciously wears black underwear underneath her frilly white lace and black platform boots with a polka-dotted dress. Let's not get things twisted here. This was definitely NOT a collection made for little girls, though some might be drawn to it. It's for women who yearn for the 80s, when sensuality and punk rock were one in the same and romance was infused with darkness. I can imagine this girl hopping on a motorcycle with her rockstar boyfriend in a frilly dress of course. The designer combined high hemlines with higher necklines and longer skirts with deep Vs to keep every look feeling sexy, but slightly angelic. This girl is giving everyone a wink as she unties her bow to reveal a black choker and a heart-shaped tattoo.

Speaking of the 80s, we must address Armani's Emporio Armani collection filled with pops of colour and geometric shapes. While Armani may be known for more sophisticated cuts suitable for your average business woman, this year he had a little fun playing with colours, cuts, and prints. Some of the colours spotted at the show included candy cane pink and kelly green, with splashes of yellow and blue on a variety of printed dresses and flirty mini skirts. It felt like a modern art gallery, while still paying tribute to the 80s nostalgia that dominated the runways with high-waisted wide-leg pants (RIP skinny jean) and classic blazers in a variety of lengths. It was fun, with a hint of sophistication, a combination only Armani could pull off. 

Sarafini's latest collection was a cross between the 80s and the early 1800s with frilly necklines and many high-waisted pants. Nothing catches my eye quite like a high-waisted pant and some very pretty bows to tie it all together. If I could, I'd take you through every look in this collection because each one made my heart skip a few beats (in the romantic and cliche way as it should). While this collection featured many youthful ensembles (much like Giamba), it possessed even more feminine qualities like black lace overlays and layers of dramatic frills fit for a judge from the early 20th century, but also, a lady. The designer entered the realm of colour by choosing unlikely combos like baby blue and red in a mix of black and white boudoir-inspired outfits. It was edgy, romantic, and youthful without slipping into kinky territory. For the girl who's constantly being called cute and dreams of looking sexy, this collection is calling your name.

Which collection did you love at Milan this year?

Ponder it,


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