Milan revisited : Milan Fashion Week : Spring/Summer 2013
While leaving behind the past season’s baroque splendour and its aristocratic hauteur, for next spring, Dolce & Gabbana humorously reinterpreted the Sicilian ‘minuto popolo’s’ traditions. Domenico and Stefano praised Sicily's rich nature: wicker, raffia, hemp, jute, silk and flax for linen, all 'environmentally friendly' plants, incidentally, which have favoured the birth of numerous Italian textile crafts. These coarse, durable and affordable fabrics speak for the Italian countryside’s simple, hardworking way of life. A jute dress, shaped like a wheat sack, boasted Taormina products, all ‘fatto a mano’, handmade. In other words, what would dressmaking be, if not a handicraft? However, preciousness as we know it took the form of silk printed dresses which proudly featured the thousand-year-old tradition of Caltagirone themed and coloured ceramics. Mediterranean blue, sage green, yellow and terracotta, typical Sicilian colours, witnessed the island’s overwhelming beauty. Meanwhile, prints depicted Sicilian Puppet Theatre and painting scenes, usually Norman Knights fighting off Saracens. Impressive earrings, among other accessories, reproduced the ceramic heads of Presepi, these traditional nativity scenes. A fabulous feast for the eyes, this multifaceted collection certainly elevates fashion to the challenging and meaningful art that we look up to. Donatella Versace’s sumptuous collection was equally a feat of skill, as she proved to be the spearhead of luxury ‘à l’italienne’. Amazing long ‘armoured action girl’ lambskin jackets were paired with delicate lingerie cut-out edges in an interplay of see-through v.s. opaque or tough v.s. soft. Tie and dye silk dresses, buttoned shirts and low-waist belts added a slight 70’s air, while the amazon-style ankle wrap-arounds added to the overall warrior charm. Aquilano Rimondi’s joyful and young-spirited collection seemed to pay tribute to the Commedia dell’arte and its characters: Arlecchino, Pedrolino and Columbina. Colours were bright, deck of card tones, while a juxtaposition of contrasting joker checked and striped motifs were printed on circus-inspired acrobats’ and dancers ’ short dresses. In a very different style, Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier showed a very beautiful 40’s retro-influenced collection: elegant knee length light fitted dresses with vintage flower prints and tight waists. Particularly flattering on romantic physiques. Veronica Etro remained faithful to the ‘World Fashion’ influences that her brand is best known for. This season, it was mostly Japan and China’s stylized flowery motifs, but in new tones, apricot, deep orange, while some outfits were evidently more ‘Technicolor’ style. Etro revived the house’s typical flower print with a much more lively, pixelated palette for a modern updated version of the house’s legendary codes. Antonio Marras’s collection was Asia-influenced, as usual, but in a much more ‘minute’ style: tiny pastel stylized flowers, quilts or Chinese wallpaper cuts emphasized by black bordering. ‘Manga’ graphic prints brought a new touch of fantasy and grace to Marras’s work. Feel like summer is a time for lovely romantic flower-printed ruffled dresses? Anna Molinari thought so too. For Blugirl, she designed the eternally young ‘princess ’ wardrobe: picnic hats, white lace, ribbons, pink roses, violet orchids and a general taste for pastel hues. In one word: freshness! Moschino’s Rossella Jardini designed a cartoonesque collection for apprentice power girls. Little white and black falsely strict coats and suits, subverted by huge stripes, squares and dots created a mini Miss Peel look with bowling hats and gloves. Half way through, multi-coloured vibrant flowers, vivid stripes, and monochrome outfits in primary colours, gave this young character a newly felt confidence.