The Best of Milan Fashion Week Spring 2019
Every year, the world waits with bated breath for the international fashion heavyweights to unveil their latest seasonal offerings at the “Big Four” a.k.a the fashion capitals of the world. Everyone who’s anyone in sartorial circles is there to see and be seen. In the penultimate week of September, sandwiched between the London and Paris Fashion Week, came the Milanese iteration, a hallowed institution in the fashion world that has been around for 60 years. Whatever sinks or swims on the runways will determine the trends that will shape the upcoming season. In this incarnation of MFW, prints, pastels, and polka dots made their presence felt—a portent that we’ll soon be seeing a lot more character on the shelves of our most beloved couturiers. Rising above the scores of supermodels, super designers, and mega celebrities, here are some of the houses that delivered collections that stood out from the crowd.
The lucky attendees of Marni’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection at Francesco Risso’s Mattress Recipe knew they were in for something odd when they were seated on beds upon their arrival. A piece of furniture usually reserved for the private domain, the creative decision to use beds as seating arrangements created a discomforting environment which forced intimacy among strangers. This sense of the uncanny rumbled throughout the entire show, manifesting itself in the collection of asymmetrical hems, matte costume jewellery, and identity-distorting eyewear or eye makeup. Models carried geometric, three-angled handbags that leaned awkwardly to the side, and donned a series of garments featuring a hotchpotch print that will surely remind you of the collages you made in art school.
Miuccia Prada reaffirmed her commitment to Prada’s trademark nylon in her latest ready-to-wear collection, featuring monochrome pieces across the spectrum of the rainbow finished in the fabric’s satinesque sheen. Founded in 1913 by Miuccia’s grandfather Mario, the house demonstrated their continuing relevance by leaning in to the trends that have rocked the fashion world of late. In a collection dubbed by fashionista.com as “raver-fantasy-meets-retro-schoolgirl”, Prada made quite the show of embracing logomania, proudly embellished their garments with their distinct triangular emblem, while adding momentum to the athleisure trend with their own renditions of the sporty looks that have claimed contemporary hearts and minds.
20 years after the passing of the beloved Gianni Versace, Donatella paid homage to her late brother’s legacy by enlisting some of the original supermodels that were his favourite muses, including Cindy Crawford, Carla Bruni, and Naomi Campbell. That’s not to say today’s It Girls weren’t given a piece of the pie; Emily Ratajkowski, Shalom Harlow, and Kaia Gerber also walked the runway, as did the Hadid sisters, with the younger Hadid bringing up the rear in a cropped denim jacket and a black and gold dirndl. The matriarch of the Versace empire resurrected a slew of archived Versace prints from the 90s such as their iconic Wild Baroque and their Andy Warhol and Butterflies collections, pulling some vintage pieces straight out of the Versace wardrobe while recreating and infusing new life into classic Versace looks—think high waistlines, square shoulders, and catsuits. Hats off to Donatella for putting together a heartfelt, fiery tribute that will keep people talking for years to come.
The biking shorts that have dominated the season were not missed on Paul Surridge’s runway, with Roberto Cavalli’s new creative director upping the ante by embellishing the functional wear with bedazzled bells and whistles. Apart from embracing the new cult must-haves, the brand continued to play to their strengths, presenting the partywear that catapulted Roberto Cavalli to renown through the multitude of sequined looks and flirty barely-there dresses. The collection was rounded out by a selection of looks that revolved around a neutral colour palette, tribal-inspired prints, and drapey silhouettes reminiscent of traditional North African garments. Models wore their hair loosely tucked behind their ears in a disheveled morning-after way, inviting nostalgia for the eponymous designer’s hard partying days.
Dolce & Gabbana
In a move that resonates with the politically sensitive (#woke) climate we find ourselves in, Dolce & Gabbana scored points diversity by featuring plus-size supermodel Ashley Graham and Britain’s first viscountess, Emma Weymouth. Italian actress Isabel Rossellini walked the runway with her daughter Elettra Wiedemann and eight-month-old grandson Ronin, the trio emanating a radiance that testified to the brand’s timelessness and enduring appeal. In a collection keeping to the Italian label’s tradition of beautiful baroque matchmaking between belligerent florals, unapologetically lavish fabrics, and statement gold hardware, the D&G aesthetic shone bright.
Hero Image: Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana & Prada