Art x Fashion: Fashion inspired by history’s most stunning gowns

Fashion and art have always worked hand in hand like a hall of mirrors. When one creates something, the other reflects it. For centuries, art and fashion have danced with one another. Creating memorable images in either fabric or paint form. When I chose to venture into art and fashion in the first “Art x Fashion” article, the comparisons made between the artwork’s and the clothing was based on colour, print, pattern, etc. Now, the comparisons are based on some of the most stunning gowns ever painted throughout history.

Ann Demeulemeester x Thomas Hudson

Ann Demeulemeester fw17 by Sebastien Meurnier | “Portrait of Lady Frances Courtenay, wife of William Courtenay, 1st Viscount Courtenay” by Thomas Hudson | Photo: Vogue Runway

Until recently, black was a coloured reserved for mourning, not elegance. So when it came to finding a gown that matched today’s modern obsessions with the shade, a deep dive into the world of classical art was the only way to go about it. Luckily, I stumbled upon Thomas Hudson‘s beautiful painting “Portrait of Lady Frances Courtenay, wife of William Courtenay, 1st Viscount Courtenay” which showcases its main subject wearing a beautiful black gown. The sheen on the black fabric, white ruffled collar, and sleeves was mirrored by a look that walked the runway at Ann Demeulemeester this season, which featured a black dress and white shirt. The two gowns almost look like doorways. One leading to the past, the other, the future.

Loewe x Giovanni Boldini

Loewe fw17 by Jonathan Anderson | “Madame Charles Max” by Giovanni Boldini

Powder blue, not only was it named the colour of the year last year (along with rose quartz) It has steadily filtered its way through everything from fashion, to home decor, and even car colours. What sets this colour apart from other blues on the lighter spectrum is its softness, its cleanliness, its elegance, and it’s ability to remain an extremely dominant colour without looking juvenile. At Loewe, a stunning powder blue gown came down the runway looking like a clown in the wind. Immediately Giovanni Boldini came to mind. The effortless brush strokes of the blue dress in Boldini’s “Madame Charles Max” look as light as air, mirroring the billowing blue gown on the runway.

 

Calvin Klein x Thomas Cooper Gotch

Calvin Klein fw17 by Raf Simons | The Lady in Gold by Thomas Cooper Gotch

Gold is one of those colours that will always be associated with royalty. It represents the thrown, the sun, wealth, extravagance, and the God-given right to rule a kingdom. In Thomas Coop Gotch‘s painting “The Lady in Gold,” we can see how gold plays a vital role in creating an elegant and domineering atmosphere. Not only is the dress itself a beautiful hue of yellow gold, the entire painting itself is painted in various hues of warm yellow. Giving the woman in the painting a sense of sheer importance and status. At Calvin Klein, A stunning gold coat walked the runway. The gold fabric and cleave PVC overlay looked made the garment look like liquid gold. Twisting and swirling onto itself. Truly a modern take on an old royal favourite.

 

Gucci x Frans Verhas

Gucci fw17 by Alessandro Michele | “The New Bracelet” by Frans Verhas

Call it lilac, periwinkle, or lavender, or aubergine, but no colour can match the unbridled intensity of purple. Which screams “look at me!” regardless of which hue is being shown. In Frans Verhas The New Bracelet,” a soft lilac jumps out from the canvas against a neutral background. It’s clear that the intention of the painting was o put the gown itself into focus while letting the background fade away. And what a perfect colour to do just that. However, at Gucci, this purple gown was one of the only colours that was featured entirely by itself. The dominant colour creates a mesmerising look that needs little more than a lustre in the fabric itself to stand out. Just like Frans Painting, this Gucci dress captures the eye and lets the background fade away.

Chika Kisada x William Ross

Chika Kisada fw17 by Chika Kisada | “Princess Feodora of Hohenlohe-Langenburg” by William Ross

What do you think of when you think of pink? For me, I see candy, extravagance, sugar, delicateness, and power. Now, most people would agree with candy and delicateness, but why power and extravagance? It’s simple, pink is one of the strongest colours on the colour wheel. It gives off an intensity without ever experiencing any muteness in its hues. Whether it’s baby pink or fuschia, pink lights a fire unlike any other colour on the spectrum. In William Ross‘ “Princess Feodora of Hohenlohe-Langenburg,” we can see that even though the pink chosen for the gown is the softest imaginable, it still draws the eye to it. Dominating everything around it in the painting. This is also the case with this stunning pink dress at Chika Kisada aw17. The mix of bubblegum pink and dusty rose creates levels of excitement and interest in the dress. Pulling your eyes towards the harness on the model’s chest, and drawing it all the way down to the train.

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Gotta Have it! Must have show stopping accessories from the fall 2017 runway

One interesting thing that most people don’t know about is that many of the world’s most beloved brands and fashion houses actually make the majority of their profits through accessories. Brands like Prada and Dior are tasked with creating new and exciting bags, shoes, jewellery, and more to drive sales through the roof.

Some brands are even blessed with the gift of having almost their entire yearly revenue derived from the sales of their non-clothing goods. That just goes to show how important accessories really are to the fashion industry itself. They aren’t just afterthoughts or cherries on top to add “a little something” to the collection. They’re there to seal the deal on whether one loves a collection or skips it. Here are Novella’s top picks for best accessories of fall/winter 2017.

The Bags

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Prada, Miu Miu, Jacquemus, Chloe, Altuzzara

Prada: As she does every year, Miuccia Prada released a coveted selection of bags that are sure to end up on everyone’s must have list. Ranging from all black and all baby blue shoulders bags, green ostrich feather handbags, nylon satchels, and python skin to fur-covered confections and printed leather bags, Prada outdid itself once again in creating an innovative and versatile collection of handbags for every occasion. However, one bag stood out from the pack. A bag that clearly played off the brand’s fall 2017 collection of book bags. Like its predecessors, this new bag resembles a leather bound book, but this time the entire bag is comprised of velvet, giving the bag a quirky 70’s feel.

Miu Miu: Just like her bags at Prada, Miuccia’s Miu Miu bag collection is another beautiful example of how well-rounded a designer she really is. This season, Prada’s younger sister released a groovy collection of bags that mirrored the collection’s feminine 60’s flare. There were bags with fur handles and bags with large glamorous brooches. But the most interesting pick of the collection was a selection of bags that had “Miu Miu” stitched all over the bag in a stunning psychedelic swinging 60’s font.

Jacquemus: Simon Porte Jacquemus has been one of the only designers of late to actually produce worthwhile collections. And although the statement may seem a little extreme, it’s completely called for in Simon’s case. For his fall 2017 collection, Jacquemus gave the fashion world one of the most creative and innovative bags to date. Gone are the days of his “haricot” bags and wallets — his newest offering comes in the shape of an upside down envelope, mirroring the bags a bourgeois woman of the 1950’s would have worn in Paris. The greatest thing about this bag is that it carries (no pun intended) all of the things that define French clothing (like the gold chain and old world shape) and literally turns it on its head, thereby making the bag distinctly Jacquemus yet still very much French in design.

Chloe: Chloe has always been a staple in exceptional bag making and this season just another testimony to that statement. This season’s it girl bag has to be Chloe’s white sand coloured circle crossbody bag. The adorable bag is the perfect run around bag that matches any outfit, plus the brass coloured metal handle adds that perfect bohemian touch that Chloe has always been known for. And the best part is that the bag looks as if it will be available in a multitude of neutral and dark colours to suit any preference and need!

Altuzzara: The last bag on the list is by far the most traditional of the bunch, but that isn’t to say the bag is in anyway doughty or matronly. This Altuzzara handbag came in a stunning array of complementary colours that suited every look in the collection perfectly, which is also a plus. But the best part about this season’s Altuzzara bag had to be its simple design and decoration. There were no gimmicks here. Just a beautifully designed leather bag with an accompanying flower that would make even the most elite of New York’s Upper East Side squeal with delight.

The Shoes

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Gucci, Tory Burch, Maison Margiela, Rochas, Thom Browne

Gucci: Leave to Alessandro Michele create a cowboy inspired 80’s ankle boot that actually looks amazing. During his latest Gucci show, Michele sent out a real throwback of a shoe that was completely off colour to what has been going on at Gucci. The bright white bootie comes complete with an almost Wild West/almost Eastern European embroidered floral design that fits the brand’s outstanding new vision perfectly. On top of that, the boot itself is perfect for the 80’s revival trend that has been sweeping the fashion world this season.

Tory Burch: Tory Burch is a brand that has more recently been associated with wealthy soccer mom chic, rather than high fashion fallal. But this season, the American brand looked as if it was trying to shed its current plateau and engage new customers. And the shoe of the show did just that. This beautifully ornate Tory Burch heel burst onto the catwalk with one thing in mind — to make a statement. And that it did. The stunning heel pulled out all the stops to command attention; the sculptural heel, European style brocade pattern, and a beautiful oversized bow harked back to imperial French court glamour. It’s safe to say that Tory Burch is finally making fashion and that’s a wonderful thing.

Maison Margiela: The incomparable John Galliano has made a new name for himself at Margiela since his arrival at the iconic Belgian house. Every season it seems that Mr. Galliano has fresh and innovative ideas for his clientele’s eyes to feast on. For this season’s Margiela show, Galliano presented a knee length boot in an ever-so-relevant 70’s inspired silhouette. The boot, which features an ultra feminine pencil thin heel and deep ochre coloured python print, resemble the same heeled boots that independent and fashionable women wore back in the 1970’s, making it an instant buy on any trend followers must have list.

Rochas: Rochas has always been spot on when it comes to gloriously elegant women’s clothing. This season at Rochas, viewers were treated to the most darling of pumps one could ever imagine. The shoe, which looked to have taken inspiration from 1950’s fetish heels and Marie Antoinette court shoes, are as prim and proper as any shoe can get. And that beautifully placed heel makes the entire shoe look even more delicate and glamorous.

Thom Browne: Thom Browne has never been one to shy away from designing things that many would consider outlandish, but that’s exactly why he’s on this season’s “best of” list. For his winter wonderland inspired show, Browne created a heel that features his trademark all-American brogues crossed with an interesting hollow wedge heel made to look like a figure skater’s blade. The shoe is a testament to how amazing a designer Browne is. Not only is the shoe perfectly designed to fit, it also carries one of Thom Browne most easily recognizable trademarks. On the front of the shoe, a small shirt and tie can be seen peeking out from right under the ankle, showing any potential customers that Thom Browne’s quirky suiting is never too far away.

The Hats

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Christian Dior, Loewe, Coach, Adam Selman, Marc Jacobs

Christian Dior: Berets have been the go-to headpiece of the season and the hardworking ateliers at Christian Dior were definitely paying attention. For fall 2017, Dior had berets coming down the runway in full force. Part French go-to, part pro-feminist statement. The berets conjured up images of strong warrior women ready to fight for female freedom and independence.

Loewe: Jonathan Anderson has been wowing audiences in London and Paris for quite some time now, so it comes as no surprise that the British wunderkind presented another spot on collection for Loewe this season. The collection itself is a mishmash of all of the most beautiful things that Anderson has designed in the past, with the tiniest hint of European village life. This is where the hat comes in. The darling straw hat isn’t overbearing and ostentatious like many straw sunhats that have been shown on the runway. This adds to Anderson’s rendition’s charm. Rather than making the hat comical and theatrical, the small brim size gives the sunhat an air of authenticity and realness.

Coach: Coach is another one of those brands that ran into an extremely commercial plateau for quite a while. However, recently the brand has beefed up their designs and created relevant and exciting collections to lure would-be buyers in. For fall 2017, Coach has managed to design a wonderfully trendy hat for the young streetwear wise dressers of the world. With its fluffy shearling outer layer, the hat seems like the perfect alternative to a beanie for those chilly New York nights.

Adam Selman: Now this may not be the most traditional hat, but that doesn’t take away from how interesting a topper it is. At Adam Selman’s show during NYFW17, audiences were treated to a quirky little birdcage fascinator that was equal parts adorable and badass. Like 1950’s motorcycle gang chicks, the models stormed out with powerful little flowers on their heads and the best part about them is their versatility. Not only could you wear them with jeans and a leather jacket, but you could easily pair the fascinator with a beautiful black cocktail dress for more formal events.

Marc Jacobs: Marc Jacobs has always been fashion’s little rebel. Taking everyday trends from past and present and turning them into high fashion concepts. For his fall collection, the inspiration was clear. 70’s and 80’s urban and hip hop culture reigned supreme on the runway and it was perfectly evident in Jacobs accessories. This puffy hat is a perfect alternative to your traditional winter beanie. Instead of having a regular old boring knitted winter hat, you can have this interesting oversized retro beanie instead.

The Shades

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Anna Sui, Acne, Anya Hindmarch, Fendi, Sacai

Anna Sui: Anna Sui is one of those designers who has and will always march to the beat of her own drum. Since the early 90’s, Anna has been creating collections that are distinctly her own. This season’s Anna Sui sunnies follow in her great tradition of doing her own thing. The blue sunglasses feature a theatrical angular cat eye that is only further enhanced by their bright cobalt shade. The glasses also perfectly compliment the collections 1920’s/1970’s bohemian chic aesthetic, giving the wearer the glamour of a traditional cat eye with a bright pop of a mod colour.

Acne: The beauty of Acne is in its simplicity. While other brands thrive off of creating elaborate shows and collections, Acne has blossomed into a fashion powerhouse by infusing Swedish minimalism with high fashion appeal. And this is perfectly evident with this season’s sunglasses. The shades for fall/winter 2017 were simple in their construction. Two thin silver arms hold the angular coloured lenses in place to create a psychedelic feel to the glasses. Think John Lennon à la 2017 high fashion mod. But the quirky simplicity of these sunglasses aren’t the only selling points here. The glasses are actually quite versatile. They can be paired perfectly with a casual pair of jeans and a band t-shirt or glammed up with a silk neck-tied blouse, wide leg pant, and a floppy summer hat.

Anya HindmarchAnya Hindmarch’s entry into the industry as an accessories designer must be what pushes her to create an interesting range of accessories that are completely relevant, on-brand, and desirable outside of her own already spectacular clothing lines. Her fall 2017 sunglass collection just goes to show that she understands what her customers want. She could have easily made a pair of sunglasses with a simple frame and lens for her collection, but instead she chose to create a fur trimmed pair of sunglasses that more closely resembled a pair of skiing goggles. The fun, fur trimmed sunglasses add that perfect wintery feeling to an accessory that’s usually associated with warmer weathers and the summer months, giving the overall look a high fashion après ski feeling.

Fendi: Fendi is an accessory giant. Like its other Italian contemporaries, Fendi owes much of its success to its sales in trendy and in demand accessories. Usually known for its outlandish designs, Fendi presented a surprising take on sunglasses by creating a clean and perfectly polished pair of circular sunglasses. The posh specs fit spectacularly with the cool and composed vibe of the collection. It just goes to show that sometimes simplicity really is key!

Sacai: Sacai is a brand that has garnered a huge following over the years. And it’s easy to see why. This season’s sunglasses are in fact the most visually stunning, adorned with a number of butterflies framing the arms and lenses. These Sacai delights are perfect for commanding total attention when walking into a room. The one possible downfall of these sunnies may be their theatricality, but that’s also their the biggest allure. The beautifully decorative butterfly wings add an old world whimsy to the glasses that has slowly been coming back into fashion. And why not enjoy these shades all year-round? They would make the perfect winter pop of summery colour and the perfect summer conversation piece.

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Milan & Paris fall 2017 trend report!

Trends are often hard to mimic, (and even harder to distinguish from one season to another these days) which has always been a drag. Fortunately for all of us, this season’s Paris and Milan fall 2017 shows have brought out what are some of the best (and most wearable) trends in fashion for a very long time. There is something trending on the runway this season that almost anyone can get into, which is really something to be excited about. Whether your personal taste revolves around wearing sweet pastels or sharply refined shoulders, Paris and Milan had you covered with a plethora of pieces geared perfectly to fit your favourite look. Here are Novella’s favourite trends from Paris and Milan fall/winter 2017!

Metallic Sheen

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Dries Van Noten, Louis Vuitton, Max Mara

Metallic’s popped back into style this season once again, with various designers opting to showcase looks that shone just as bright as the spotlights that bathed the runway. But this season’s metallic hues came with a twist. Rather than going for the traditional gold, silver, and copper. Designers instead chose to use fabrics that used fabrics that not only had interesting colours choices, they also gleamed with a silvery sheen that added a youthful spark to every look. For example, Dries Van Noten chose to showcase oil slick metallics instead of the traditional metallic colour choices to add a chic and modern twist to his throwback collection.

Navy Blue

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Christian Dior, Chanel, Aquiliano. Rimondi

Not very many colours can provide you with the elegance and freshness that navy blue does. Luckily, designer’s this season were busy getting inspired by the countless various of midnight blue there are in the world. Collection after collection sprang up in Milan and Paris showcasing the regal colour in all of its dark sapphire beauty. At Chanel and Dior, classic silhouettes were constructed in navy fabrics to give the outfits a crisp and clean look that transitions perfectly with between spring/summer nights and fall/winter days. One great way to pull off the perfect navy outfit is to pair it with a crisp white grounding piece like a white buttoned down shirt or a white turtleneck and beret.

Black Leather / Vinyl

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Saint Laurent, Hermes, Haider Ackermann

Black leather and vinyl dominated the runway on this season’s Milan and Paris runways, giving hardcore 80’s fans and excuse to rock those vintage leather pieces they’ve been hiding away in the back of their closets. Houses like Saint Laurent and Hermes relied on the full 80’s rundown to create the perfect all black leather and vinyl looks, while Haider Ackermann chose to create a leather look that more closely resembled a high-speed motorcycle chase outfit Trinity would have worn in the matrix. Now leather may seem like a daunting material to wear. But the look doesn’t necessarily have to look exactly as it does on the runway for you to achieve this at home. A simple faux leather outfit and leather pant with a band shirt or bright coloured dress shirt can create the perfect throwback look for your wardrobe this fall.

Pastels

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Miu Miu, Gucci, Alberta Ferretti

Pastels have always been a staple of spring fashion no matter what city you go to. But fashion movers and shakers around the world have felt that some rearranging had to be done in recent years. Thus, we now have the ability to wear whatever we’d like during whatever time of the season. This spells good news for brands like Gucci, who’s eccentric patterns and colours help the brand hark back to a different time where fashion seemed so effortlessly quirky and chic. At Alberta Ferretti, pastels took a more regal appearance in the form of paintings by various famed artists. This ethereal take on pastels conjures up images of the Rococo, a time period where pastels were used for everything from room paint, to ladies ball gowns.

The 80’s

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Mugler, Moschino, Stella McCartney

The 1980’s are one of those time periods that is constantly coming back into fashion in one way or another. This season, it seems that designers are strongly leaning towards gaudy prints and elongated shoulders to create the perfect 80’s silhouette. At Moschino, party dresses were made using a fabric whose print looked like the decorated school notebooks of an 80’s high school student, while Mugler and Stella McCartney chose to express their love for the 80’s through the use of statement shoulders a la Dame Joan Collins in Dynasty. Unfortunately, hardcore 80’s inspired looks aren’t the easiest to wear day to day (and are often times highly unrecommended to wear during the day) but fret not. You can still rock the 80’s trend by taking the most lavish and extravagant 80’s inspired looks to the club or a fancy party; just to turn heads.

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The Best of MFW Street Style

As fashion week has moved on and descended upon Paris, it is time to say, ‘Ciao Milano!’ The Italian streets were blessed with tailored excellence. While some trends, like fur coats, camouflage, stripes, mixed prints, and puffy outerwear, did seem to carry over from NYFW and LWF, Milan was full of fresh trends strictly made for the streets of Italy to see. Italian ready-to-wear style was keen on flared jeans, sculpted shoulders, animal prints, puffy sleeves, and in true Italian fashion, the colour red. No matter what the style, Italians were not hesitant to remind people that they are true fashion trendsetters. Here are some of the best street styles from Milan Fashion Week.

Flared Pants

Various lengths of flared trousers made appearances on the streets of Milan once again. We saw the return of the flare during MFW last February, but it seems like the 70s continue to live on. Street goers channeled the 70s-inspired look in a variety of colours, textures, and lengths.

All Black Everything

Nothing feels better than wearing all black. It’s a fact. You can never go wrong wearing all black. Black will always be timeless, classic, sophisticated and trendy. It may be the colour of mourning, but it seemed to be the unofficial uniform for Milan Fashion Week.

Classic Chanel

Let’s be real, if there is one bag that will never go out of style, it’s a Chanel. Everyone seemed to rekindle their love for old-fashioned, classic Chanel handbags. It seems fitting, considering this season is already filled with vintage style references. Now, Chanel is being paired with an edgier and worn-in style. 

Athleisure

A contrast to some of the glamour that comes with the high fashion in Milan, comfort was taken as a priority to many show-goers. Comfy, logo-heavy athletic wear was commonly used as a statement piece or an entire ensemble.

The Colour Red

There was no short supply of red on the streets of Milan. Like the hints of yellow we saw on the streets in New York,  Milan’s colour of choice was red. Red was popping up everywhere! From complete head-to-toe ensembles to subtle accessories. Red was the colour of the streets, making enough of an appearance to accentuate prints, textures, and styles. Red was by far the biggest street style trend of the week.

Pinstripes

Another powerful trend on the street during MFW was pinstripes. Show-goers brought the class and showed everyone the modern way to rock pinstripes. The previous go-to workwear pattern was seen on all kinds of jackets, blazers, and blouses. The pinstripe is back — and more versatile than ever!

 

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Milan Fashion Week f/w17: The Highlights

Milan is best known for being the most conservative of the four big fashion weeks and that’s partly due to the Italian woman herself. When we look at Italian design, it seems very set in its ways. House codes are followed to the T and very rarely do fashion houses aim at creating collections that stretch too far out into the world of sex-appeal or groundbreaking contemporary fashion (with the exception of a few.) However, it seems that in recent years, Milan has been edging closer and closer into previously unexplored territory by tapping into new talent and allowing designers to go beyond the confines of  strict design codes. This season saw one of the best outcomes in terms of collections for Milan in years.

Here are Novella’s highlights for the best of Milan Fashion Week!

Ricostru

Photo: Ricostru

There’s something about a collection that relies heavily on gothic romanticism that just gets the blood pumping in every fashion lover’s heart. At this seasons Ricostru show, the audience was treated to a cavalcade of modern gothic romantics. Black leather looked softened and fluid when paired with knits and vinyl, while sheer elements created a soft whimsical aspect to the collection. The collection also had a very 90’s goth rock edge to it that felt refreshing after seeing 70’s trends dominate the runway everywhere else. However, the collection did not rely solely on black, some of the best looks came in light stone greys and metallic silver, with the most compelling and inspiring looks having a beautiful iridescent sheer silk draped over them.

Erika Cavallini

Photo: Erika Cavallini

Contemporary fashion is dominated by trends and sometimes designers feel compelled to have to follow said trends, which can lead to some extremely unfortunate mishaps and hiccups for designers. Thankfully, at Erika Cavallini, trendspotting and editing definitely paid off.  The designer definitely hit a strong note by picking some of this year’s biggest trends and fuse them into a perfectly smart and relevant collection. Ruffles and plaid danced with one another in the form of flirty skirts, coats, and dresses. Florals were printed on pastel fabrics and even denim and sportswear found their way into the collection in ways that weren’t off-putting. Creating an intelligent and social media ready collection that’s bound to be on many young fashion lovers wish lists this season.

For Restless Sleepers

Photo: For Restless Sleepers

Sleepwear has been a major trend on and off of the runway for the better part of a year now. It’s invaded menswear, ladieswear, street-style, and even fast fashion retail with a gusto that hasn’t been seen since its big boom during the 1970s. At F.S.R, luxury loungewear reigned supreme in all of its silken glory. Heavy bohemian prints and velvet rounded out the collection while crisp Japanese and English florals were presented in the most regal of colours, giving off an air of richness that goes perfectly with the clothing being presented at hand. One of the standout outfits had to have been a strikingly beautiful silk robe that depicted a beautiful scene of peacocks taking flight in hues of evergreen and watercolour sky blues that conjure up an image of a king lounging in his gilded smoking room.

Gucci

Photo: Yannis Vlamos

Alessandro Michele makes another triumphant return at Gucci this season with his usual cacophonous parade of colour, texture, and style. Models wore everything from pseudo-Paco Rabanne-esque 1960s style knitted hoods, to a rainbow fringe, and even Japonesque florals. The wonderful part of this collection was its sheer size. A total of 120 looks were featured on the runway which featured almost every trend imaginable, but the most striking of the bunch had to be the looks that were made with the help of Spanish artist Coco Capitan. The artist created highly political statement slogans for Michele’s collection which took aim at the current political and social climate in the United States. One Particular look fused an interesting mix of denim (in the form of cutoff shorts) with a glittering bodysuit that looked almost like a mirrored exoskeleton with a slogan shirt that proudly stated: “common sense is no that common.” This look, which featured one of the simplest outfits in the entire collection actually proved to be one of the most striking and visually stunning in the entire collection; giving Milan its own iconic protest moment.

Giamba

Photo: Giamba

In a surprising turn, Italy’s wunderkind Giambatistta Valli opted for a presentation this season, as opposed to a runway show, to feature his baby line Giamba. But that did not take away from the beauty that his collection brings ever season. For this season, Giamba continued doing what it does best, providing young well to do women with stunningly regal and flirty clothing that completely defines today’s fashion forward millennial. However, this season saw the addition of something interesting and genuinely unexpected for a Giamba show, extravagant luxury. The first telltale sign that this Giamba collection wasn’t going to be like the rest was with the introduction of rich long-haired furs. Beautiful shag coats were layered over pretty “it girl” dresses creating a 70s sensibility that felt completely relevant with today’s fashion scene. Another extremely pleasing aspect of the show was its slight injection of maturity. It seems that instead of creating another collection of sweet as bubblegum dresses, Valli opted to use a darker colour palette, giving his a collection and Edwardian heaviness that is definitely pulling the brand forward into new territory.

 Prada

Photo: Monica Feudi

It’s a known fact that Miuccia Prada has always moved to the beat of her own drum, and this season is no different. For her fall 2017 collection at Prada, Miuccia presented a collection aimed at reclaiming women’s sensuality and sexuality in a way that’s reminiscent of past feminist movements, hence the overall 1960s / 70s feel. The collection starts by featured strong silhouettes that fused the raw sexuality exuded by the female body, with elements of menswear. This gave the collection a wonderful air of androgyny. However, masculinity was not Miuccia’s answer to female strength. For the remainder of the show, Miuccia Prada presented compelling looks steeped in femininity, because a strong woman doesn’t have embrace masculine traits to be strong, femininity can be just as strong, if not stronger in its own way. Case in point being the true stars of the show, which were a group of graphic printed dresses that depicted portraits of women carelessly lounging, posing, and generally going on about their day without a care in the world. The images are reminiscent of women in the 1960s, with the bright coloured clothing a perfectly coiffed hair. It’s almost as if you can see Leslie Gore singing “You don’t own me” while wearing one of these dresses, giving 1 part seduction and the other part empowered lioness.

Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini

Photo: Luca Tombolini

Philosophy was known for having it’s great fashion moments over the years, but it seemed like it was beeing overshadowed in recent years by the big Milan 5. Fortunately for lovers of the brand, it seems like designer Lorenzo Serafini took fall 2017 as a way to change all of that. This season saw one of the most compelling collections at Philosophy to date. The collection, which was steeped heavily in old school femininity, played on all of the ultra fem trends that haven swept fashion for the last few seasons (ruffles being a big one.) The 1950s and 60s silhouettes were made fresh and modern through sheer polka dot blouses and dresses, while tulle dresses added a youthful edge to the already lively and soft show. One of the biggest highlights of the collection is a simple outfit comprised of a sheer ruffled blouse worn with a slick white dress pant. The outfit itself isn’t anything different from what been seen audiences has seen before, but it’s in the outfit’s expert and well thought out design that truly makes it a standout piece. All in all, this collection seems to be a preview of the newly lit spark that is inspiring Serafini, and in the fashion industry, any spark is a good one!