From Versace, Gucci to Fendi and Ferragamo, Italy is home to some of the world’s biggest fashion houses. Milan is best known as the international capital as it incorporates luxury, art, fashion and culture. From its amazing shopping and dining, Milan is a cosmopolitan city filled with life. We loved shopping at the best boutiques in Via Monte Napoleone, Via Alessandro Manzoni, Via della Spiga and Corso Venezia. We dined at the best Italian restaurants in Milan. Lunch at Il Solferino was amazing where we enjoyed truffle pasta and the waiters came to our table to show the size of the truffle before it was served. Dining in the garden at Paper Moon Giardino was a beautiful scene at night. Langosteria, a restaurant best known for its seafood, serves decadent desserts which are bite-sized portions of gelato in the flavor of each fruit or nutshell.
As Milan Fashion Week is here, and the fashion elite have traveled from the rainy streets of London to the sunny Italian piazzas, our social feeds were full of some seriously enviable Italian outfits from the designers.
Fendi’s spring runway show featured a combination of utility and sport through an audacious display of bags, pockets and no lack of logos. There was plenty to take in beyond bags: parrot prints, corset-cummerbund and romantic sheer dresses embroidered with flowers. Giant pockets would puff up the hips of a zip-front leather dress, take over the bodice of a high-neck blouse, and show up on the expected places on jackets, coats and cargo pants. We can’t forget the toolkit belt with pockets hanging off it.
The takeaway from this show was the rebirth of the 1997 house It bag – the Baguette. Venturini Fendi updated this runway success with a long and short strap to wear two ways to adapt to how younger generations are wearing cross-body, a trend that has been transported from streetwear.
More masterful Fendi bags were on display, spectacular in their utilitarian looks. New Peekaboos, mini pouches as belt bags and enlarged Baguettes with multiple, external pockets for phones all spoke to the next generation.
Max Mara, Italy’s quietest super-brand, finally opened up. For the first time since it was founded almost 70 years ago, Max Mara held a show in its hometown of Reggio Emilia in the first Max Mara factory and headquarters, now called Collezione Maramotti.
Max Mara’s long-standing creative director Ian Griffiths created a lineup of sophisticated, luxurious designs that was perfectly in tune with Max Mara’s aesthetic and that subtly referenced the pieces of art the owner originally collected. The result was a range of elegant coats and eveningwear pieces that echoed with a distinctive artistic influence, starting with the colors.
Max Mara’s strength is also in manufacturing products of the highest quality. Customers know that a Max Mara outfit will always be produced with the same attention, design, and quality.
Jeremy Scott’s entertaining Moschino show began with a phone call from Gigi Hadid warning him he was late for his own runway show and advised him to pull something together, to which Scott responded, “Okay, I’ll be right there.”
In the dream sequence that followed, Scott was a designer of an old-school, Yves Saint Laurent style stripe. Inspired by previous designers, the backdrop featured a 2-D studio complete with mock sketches in rainbows of magic-marker style scribbles.
Scott was a fashion fan growing up, and these looks definitely nodded to ’80s vintage: couture tailleurs with grand waist-cinching bows; pouf-sleeved tops and pouf skirts; and wrap dresses—all in white with dashed-off Magic Marker–type squiggles and dots suggesting color and pattern. Cleverly, as the show progressed, Scott countered the pieces with some of his own Moschino classics, like sweat suits and jean jackets and pants featuring sketches of his logo necklaces.
The show’s highlight was a series of high evening looks surreal in their aspect: There was a thimble hat, a pincushion chapeau, and a tape measure boa. Even with his own line, Moschino, and an H&M collaboration on the horizon, Scott lives in his headspace and we can always count on him for an entertaining show.
Prada’s show combined fashion with an art performance, not unlike the brand’s past shows. The floor was marked with grids of geographical coordinates showing the exact place in the world each guest was occupying. Held at the new multipurpose performance space at the Fondazione Prada, the show put people on the edge of their inflatable Verner Panton stools, as they tried to perceive what fashion says about the state of the world. This time, Miuccia Prada’s message was aimed at youth. She wanted to break the rules of the classic, creating a collection that represents freedom, liberation and fantasy and also the extreme conservatism that is coming.
While this was a collection which defied neat taglines, there was still plenty to wear. There were plunging bodysuits with straps under the breasts, cycling shorts, baby doll dresses, sheer black knee-highs implanted with Prada’s triangular logos, and new takes on her ’60s–’70s throwback print jersey ladylike coats.
News shortly released that Michael Kors Holdings, the growing conglomerate that bought Jimmy Choo in 2017, acquired Gianni Versace SpA for $2.1 billion. “Versace is a luxury brand, and it’s going to stay a luxury brand,” Donatella Versace told Business of Fashion.
Versace has never been a brand known for its visual restraint, and the Italian house’s spring 2019 collection was every bit as purposefully loud as one would expect. This collection was far more multigenerational and celebrated something for everyone under the Versace sun.
The collection included lots of bright color and power-clashing prints interspersed with sexy, figure-hugging dresses and plenty of shiny patent leather.
The cast of models walking the runway was just as dynamic: Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Kaia Gerber, Emily Ratajkowski, Imaan Hammam, Teddy Quinlivan and Freja Beha Erichsen all made appearances, as did ’90s icon Shalom Harlow, who opened and closed the show. Read The Versace Experience as we take you backstage and to the after-party of the Versace show.
Photos: Kim Weston Arnold, Monica Feudi, Luca Tombolini / Indigital.tv