MILAN.- Milan Fashion Week opened on Friday its third day of runway shows for next spring and summer against the backdrop of thousands of young protesters who criticize the industry for being wasteful and polluting.
The question that exists about fashion week is whether, after 19 months, the coronavirus pandemic has caused real changes in a system that has revolved around four cycles of ready-to-wear a year, in addition to cruise and haute couture. Yes, the events are socially distancing and fewer editors are allowed than ever. But with companies racing to restore sales to pre-pandemic levels, one wonders: are more profound changes taking place?
Posters of the climate march in the heart of Milan urged “Dress the change”, a slogan aimed at the second most polluting industry after energy. “Everybody wants to be warm, but the Earth is not one of them,” read another poster.
Some highlights from Friday’s shows:
PRADA DECONSTRUCTS THE NIGHT CLOTHES
Prada returned to the runway live for the first time since February 2020, when the creative partnership between Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons was announced, and just as Italy detected the first locally transmitted cases of the new coronavirus.
Fans packed the street outside the Fondazione Prada showroom and contemporary art exhibition space to greet special guests and influencers alike, as ancient fashion rituals resumed.
Inside, masked editors screened with a health pass sat at a social distance that left plenty of room to breathe. Another show was held simultaneously in Shanghai, with images of the darkened skyline broadcast in the Milan showroom.
The collection, the third of the Prada-Simons era, was a deconstruction of traditional nightwear – trains, corsets and evening dresses – as a study in sensuality and the revelation of the female form, the designers said at the notes from the parade.
Simons lamented the “unreality” of an evening dress “no matter how beautiful”, and it is certainly the case that many dresses have spent the pandemic hanging, unannounced, in closets.
“These clothes can get complicated: evening dresses, historical costumes. We want it to be simple, straightforward, feel modern, “said Simons.
Haute couture silk miniskirts trailed long sashes, sometimes left floating. More formally, the skirts sported full tuxedo tails. They were worn with sweaters, distressed leather bomber jackets and sleeveless tops with black and white prints that were tied together for a punk touch.
The dresses were cinched at the waist and left open at the back in a way that suggested the Prada V logo, while the skirt had a deep inverted V slit. The leather straps on the bare biceps finished the look.
The knitwear was soft, with bib or corset details, finished with the same leather bicep straps. Mini knit tunics were cinched at the waist and worn over matching shorts.
The color palette ranged from navy blue and black to cotton candy pink and canary yellow. The magenta accentuated the acid green, which in turn complemented the soft pink. The shoes had a low heel to the air, giving the feeling of suspension.
For Prada, it is a mistake to speak of the program in terms of a “return to normalcy.”
“We have learned that in fashion we relate to a much larger world,” Prada said in the show notes. “After everything that has happened, how can you go back?”
ENERGIZED VERSACE TRACK
Donatella Versace injected energy into Milan Fashion Week with a runway and front row full of stars, and a collection that follows the codes of the fashion house: bright colors, safety pins and especially silky scarves.
The British singer and emerging fashion icon, Dua Lipa, opened the show in a black suit fastened with colored brooches that exposed her skin, while her song “Physical” played in the place, and closed it with a loose skirt and a fuchsia corset.
In the middle, she was joined by Naomi Campbell, smiling and brilliantly dressed in a hot pink bodysuit and orange shirt, Gigi Hadid in a slinky black latex dress with just a silky flash of turquoise and pink, and Lourdes Leon Ciccone , in a silver dress.
The show began with black suits and dresses with little flashes of color in pins and scarves peeking out from the hems and slits, the colors getting bolder and bolder until they exploded into a vivid palette of pink, aqua, sea green, green. acid and yellow.
The girls’ silhouette radiated confidence, with body-hugging dresses and skirts offering a variety of ways to strip the skin with high slits in the skirts, pin-on leggings, and abs-revealing corsets or bras. Footwear included wavy platform shoes in shiny satin.
Men’s clothing was more relaxed, with floral suits, sportier varsity jackets with mesh shirts, or shiny leather jackets paired with tight latex tops and jeans.
Outside of the Versace venue, hordes of fans partied like it was 2019, hoping to catch a glimpse of the special guests arriving.
Front row guests included Milan’s own fashion influencer-turned-businesswoman Chiara Ferragni and her husband, singer Fedez, American influencer-turned-actress Addison Rae, and actress Bella Thorne with her Italian boyfriend, singer Benjamin Mascolo.
Simone Rizzo and Loris Messina, the designers behind the Sunnei brand, invited the fashion crowd to don sunglasses inside a white tunnel and gaze at the collection as the strobe lights flashed.
The youth collection was strong in layers, with long skirts over trousers or grass fringes peeking out from the shorts. The proportions were mostly baggy and oversized, with coats gathered at the waist to offer some definition. The bags were either soft and large, or strictly square.
Sunglasses, de rigueur in sparkling tunnels, tied at the nape of the neck.