Tuesday 27 September 2016

It's going to be a long, soft summer

Milan Fashion Week may be stuck in the 1970s, but it can still pleasantly surprise

Constance Harris

Published 05/10/2015 | 02:30

Models take selfie with mobile phones during the parade at the end of the Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer 2016
Models take selfie with mobile phones during the parade at the end of the Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer 2016
A model presents a creation from the Gucci's Spring/Summer 2016 collection during Milan Fashion Week in Italy
A model presents a creation from the Prada Spring/Summer 2016 collection during Milan Fashion Week in Italy, September 24, 2015. REUTERS/ Stefano Rellandini
A model presents a creation from the Roberto Cavalli Spring/Summer 2016 collection during Milan Fashion Week
A creation from the Versace Spring/Summer 2016 collection during Milan Fashion Week
A model presents a creation from the Missoni Spring/Summer 2016 collection during Milan Fashion Week

It's the spring/summer season, so of course Milan Fashion Week is going to show lace, 1960s' bohemia and fey young things. But considering its usual predilection for remembering those days with over-indulgent nostalgia, it wasn't a too bad Milan Fashion Week, on the icky-ingénue-ism scale.

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One of the significant events of this Milan Fashion Week was Giorgio Armani celebrating 40 years in the business and the publishing of his new autobiography.

Not only has Armani remained consistent to his signature style and not tried to go where youth trends lead, his is still an independent company. Giorgio Armani owns his name and means of production, which is revolutionary these days. And unlike many of fashion's biggest, supposedly rebel, names who are practically jobbing at their own label. Hats off to Mr. Armani; I wish him 40 more years of design.

Salvatore Ferragamo made a big swerve in direction - favouring knitwear and hippy chic that we would more usually associate with Missoni. Missoni itself was full of verve and sex appeal.

Prada was playing with 3D construction and appliqué. Think thick embellishment and raised textures. The accessories were incredibly cool.

Trends were consistent across all the collections; appliqué, belts and strapping, bare and single shoulders, long, lace, sheer and chiffon. Gone were digital prints and neon.

Gucci for spring/summer 2015 was like seeing a revolution. Gone was the power dressing and branding of the 1970s' statement sex appeal and the big gold 'G. This Gucci was soft, blousy-flowery in places, featured librarian-like styling and was even a tiny bit romantic.

The new vibe at the house is all due to its new creative director, Alessandro Michele, who was promoted, unlike his predecessor Frida Giannini, from within the ranks; he has been with Gucci for over ten years.

I loved Michele's confidence in whimsy and humour, such as placing giant beetles on ties. But do not be fooled into believing this was a fey collection. It was not. Gucci for 2016 packs punches.

Expect to see more cool cats like show attendee, Dakota Fanning, sporting the new Gucci groove.

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