London likes to produce synthetic weather on their catwalks- we have had rain and snow indoors before, to match the inclement weather outside in the capital. So, when the dark clouds hung over Milan bringing snow flurries and coldness a bit of pathetic fallacy found it’s way on to the catwalk in Italy, with dark palettes blizzards of embellishment- not to mention any excuse to layer up with an ostentatious fur…
There was a sense of the gothic about Milan this season; Dolce & Gabbana went for iconography, mosaics, chalice bustiers and crowns that wouldn’t look out of place on a mural depicting the Knights Templar. Their collection was colourful and rich, with plenty of embellishment and gemstones. And keeping up the history theme, the fashion house revisited their white, alter boy Sicilian shirts that we saw in the menswear collection in January, but this time teamed them with black high waisted skirts and trousers.
DSquared2 took us back to the 40s, with Bette Franke slinking down the runway with sleek hair, a cigarette holder, smoking jacket and velvet billowing trousers while bow ties, hats, and embellished gowns ruled.
Giorgio Armani hit us with avant-garde; French 1920s inspired looks sashayed down the runway with braces, detached collars and almost art deco like detail on the bust of some of the gowns. Androgyny was also key for Giorgio Armani, with narrow and wider fit billowing trousers on show to match the hats and braces. Jil Sander kept up the trend with a sober toned collection, with masculine, elongated and oversized coats and buckled shoes.
Unlike other designers Mrs. Prada didn’t pick a decade, but showed us all she has loved from previous collections- we had her chunky shoes, her stripes and red paneling previously seen at the menswear show. Sturdy silhouettes and big cuffs were also key.
Roberto Cavalli kept in line with the gothic theme, showing a collection of rich furs, monochromatic floral prints and armor chain mail dresses. The colours were rich and dark, the collars high. Mosaic metal beading was topped off with excessive furs and deep reds.
Everywhere you turned in Milan, the gothic theme was present, even the usually colourful Versace had spiked chokers and PVC cut out dresses but never fear, Donatella punctuated her dominatrix goth with bright yellow furs and zebra prints for extra exlpositivty.Gucci was full of plunging necklines and a mix of leathers, from smooth latex looking leather, to reptile skin effects. Gucci kept in step with fur trimmings, netting and embellishment all accompanied with gothed out make up.
Milan knows how to have fun, and what is more fun (if not daring) as a choker and a little bit of zebra print? The tailoring balanced this out nicely, with excellent quasi suiting from brands such as Prada and Jil Sander.