Stripes, sea-life and simple oriental shapes dominated the catwalks on day three of Milan Fashion Week as the fashion pack jostled to get onto the FROW (that’s ‘front row’ in layman’s terms) at many a big-name runway, most notably, Versace.
But before Donatella could unveil her vision for the new season, Moschino sent out a model memo that it would all be about Sixties shapes and monochrome stripes. Seemingly taking a time capsule back to cool Britannia à la Twiggy, the fashion house teamed short double-breasted jackets sporting oversized buttons and micro-miniskirts with caricature-esque helmet hats in white and black. Mosaic mirror shift dresses, silver leather biker jackets and broderie anglaise dresses dotted with miniature florals presented a collection full of sass and sex appeal. I think the designer also shares my love of the film Alice in Wonderland as several of the pieces were covered in a hearts and diamonds motif in shades of pillar-box red, stark white and vivid blue. Magenta, yellow, orange and coral were thrown into the multi-coloured palette while dark glasses and red lips completed the look.
A statement white leather jacket set the modern, sophisticated yet funky tone at Just Cavalli, which was intent on showcasing its sartorial maturity through the luxurious fabrics yet still project a fun and flirty vibe. Taking a deep-sea dive akin to Alberta Ferretti’s oceanic inspiration, scales appeared on sweatshirts, jackets and shirts took on the blouson shape and kaftan dresses were fishtail floaty. But unlike Ferretti’s slinky mermaids, Cavalli’s women were exotic fish… with bling!
Veronica Etro welcomed us to the brink where reality merges with fantasy, similar to that moment between sleep and wakefulness when anything is possible and almost seems tangible. Her oriental vision was translated into clean, simple shapes of kimono wraps, Judo jackets and origami folds with intricately decorative hand-painted murals featuring birds, butterflies, parrots and flowers. Billowing gowns, easy palazzo pants and slinky one-shouldered dresses revealed an array of Japanese style motifs but the point at which shape met print felt a little lost in the fantasy as though the two didn’t quite want to co-exist. Some pieces worked beautifully and others seemed to be caught between the two worlds the designer had envisaged.
The moment the FROWers had been waiting for finally arrived as Versace bounded onto the runway with an attention-grabbing collection of signature black lace mini-dresses, slashed back trousers and billowy sleeved blouses punctuated with punches of tropical colour ranging from vivid orange to marbled fuchsia to startling azure. Brimming with attitude and smokey-eyed sexiness, emphasis went to the hips with starry silver strand belts and blinged up chain versions drawing the eye around the contour of the Versace woman.
After all that excitement, I think I’ll just go and sit down on the FROW in our living room and make Mummy put on Alice in Wonderland (the Disney version).
Images: Copywright Vogue.co.uk