Milan Fashion Week: Fall 2009 RTW: Top 6
April 27th, 2009 (03:54 pm)
current mood: loved
current mood: loved
The models hair was electrified as if they were brides of Frankenstein shocked back into life. And truly life was on Miuccia Prada's mind. This collection was a rejection of the constrictive or overly feminine fashion which "is not life." This Prada collection redefines fashions notion of fierce presenting a collection that a certain austerity, a toughness, yet a strange beauty in the form of rich jewel colours and brocade. The suits and coats that form the core are made exquisite and durable, experimenting in shape but in a way that is still recognizable, although unsettling. The collection as a whole is a bit unsettling, even when empowering or beautiful - and that is part of its appeal. There is sexual, but it is defiant, personally owned, and perhaps a little violent. She may have strayed a bit from the nature idea she originally envisioned (still present in the waders which I feel are one of the collections weak points) but she definitely captured the ideas of freedom and feminine empowerment - what can be more empowering than pumps with backs that look like roman helmets or the absolutely stunning bejeweled gladiator dresses at the close? So while the collection does have it's problems - too much fur, the waders, sweaters tucked into shorts. That unique confidence in more awkward forms of beauty, that intellectualism, is something I love about Miuccia as a designer.
5. Salvatore Ferragamo
This was the sort of Italian chic I was waiting for in Milan, Cristiana Ortiz delivers cultivated, lady-like, yet somewhat provocative clothes in an exquisite colour palette (one of my Milan favourites) of wine, scarlet, plum, and black. The tailoring is a mix of classic, streamlined, looks - pencil skirts, trousers, with unusual bell-sleeved and cropped jackets, and more fluid and romantic draping. Although some sheer looks at the end came out disappointingly trashy, the powerfully sexy clothes that preceded them make it a forgivable error.
Melancholic, poetic, "English-eccentric" style featuring: loose dropped waist dresses vaguely reminiscent of Virginia Woolf; artsy brocades and prints; and a wide-range of the unparalleled Burberry outerwear that begs to be worn on a long reflective walk through either English countryside, wild moor, or city streets. All in all, this was yet another Christopher Bailey hit: an intellectual yet emotional collection of freedom and beauty.
Sophistication with a tough edge, deliberately rough touches of the urban warrior, yet there is also a resilient spirituality. Like Prada's collection, Fendi is aware of the past - this time medieval instead of roman - but is much more forward looking than most. Make no mistake though, these are luxury items - "Close up, the raw threads were minute dustings of mohair or fur, and the semi-destroyed materials proved to be advanced treatments of cashmere, burned-out chiffon, and flannel. " But that is just the bonus, the elegant post-apocalyptic beauty is the true appeal: if this is what the survivors would wear after the apocalypse, then bring it on....preferably with zombies.
2. Bottega Veneta
This collection by Thomas Maier can best be summed up in one word: glamour. This collection is one effortless, classic beauty, recalling the golden days of Hollywood. The finest fabrics - organza, charmeuse, leather, make this a truly luxurious dresses, and fluid garments that seem to be almost spontaneously assembled alternate with perfect sheaths in rich brocade and lingerie corseting (it is unfortunate that some models chosen had no breasts to truly highlight). One particularly erotic touch came in the form of dresses that appeared simple, but in stunning soft fabrics, with an exposed back down which a slight crystal strap falls. The spectacular finish of glamourous goddess dresses seemed made for the likes of Grace Kelly, or perhaps angels, as despite all their fabric they tossed as if waves...nearly weightless. It was the sort of dramatic yet gracefully elegant finish that such a superb show demanded.
Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi here offer hands down the most exquisite and unique tailoring in Milan. Unfortunately, probably due to the recession, they shifted their focus from Gianfranco Ferré,(one of my favourite lines last season), leaving that collection a mix of chic, sophisticated looks and overly voluminous disasters. Aquiliano. Rimondi, however, shined this season. The collection evoked World War II glamour and the style of Elsa Schiaparelli, but this collection is clearly a mix of familiarity and visionary artistry. Although at times they got a bit extravagant, they show technical prowess and the capacity to make clothes with silhouettes that I irresistibly call perfect.