Milan seemed up in its spirits this season. Of all the major fashion cities around the world, Milan has has a harder time with reinventing itself and finding its signature aesthetics. While the city’s designers are still looking for their voices, it seems that the soul-searching has led to a signature Milan-look. The Spring collections were filled with pretty things. Frilly white frocks were cut and sewn into delicate silhouettes, while pops of color and pattern introduced a light dusting of excitement throughout the week. In the end, it’s good to see that Milan is moving in this direction. Here’s hoping Milano sticks to the pristine angelic ensembles that graced the runway this season. Pretty suits the city.
Versace is an Italian powerhouse and has been for more than two decades. Celebrities and the elite have tripped over their own two feet to wear the iconic Medusa head on their bodies. But it seems that the world craves Versace now more than ever. Which seems like the perfect timing since this year commemorates Gianni Versace, who died in 1997. Donatella created a collection that took the spotlight away from the horrific murder and once again focused on her brother’s designs. The collection celebrated Gianni’s affinity for sexy mini dresses, cropped bolero jackets, gold chains, and seashell motifs. Versace’s designs were never intended to feel serious and uptight; they always felt fun and celebratory, like joy in printed fabric form, which is exactly the kind of carefree joy the world needs right now.
Missoni is one of those brands that have become synonymous with Italian fashion. Since its humble beginnings back in 1953, brand has never ceased to surprise with its signature zigzag knits. Now some may think that keeping alive house codes created back in the ’50s is a recipe for disaster, but that isn’t always the case. With so many designers abandoning the things that made their brand famous back in the day, it’s refreshing to see brands like Missoni reinvent itself without throwing away its foundations. This season, Angela Missoni presented a collection with a bohemian flare. But the collection didn’t rely soley on boho-chic to get by — many contemporary trends came into play. Sheer gowns and oversized cardigans looked right at home beside completely on-trend oversized sunhats, giving the collection a vintage yet contemporary feeling.
Kudos to Maria Grazia for attempting to pull off a modern western vibe at Dior a few months ago (better luck next time!), but it looks like Elisabetta Franchi has the entire look covered. Franchi, who’s mostly known for dressing Italy’s well-to-do in elegant and refined clothing, often opted for traditional glamour than take the route of over the top fashion designer or high fashion extremes. However, this collection marks a very interesting moment for the designer. Diverging from her usuals, Franchi chose to create a whimsical and very mature take on vintage western clothing. Large black straw hats were paired alongside flirty rompers and micro mini dresses. Long billowing gowns had pretty historic touches sewn throughout — they’re versatile and can be worn as they were seen on the runway or on their own. The accessories used throughout the show also emphasized the old world decorative dressing. The belts had a particular beauty about them, with their strung pearls and gold dangling delicately at the waist.
Arguably the most important designer in Italy (maybe even the world) Miuccia Prada lives and breathes fashion. Look at the last decade and try to find a collection that wasn’t in one way or another infleuntial, artistic, innovative, and beautiful. It’s likely that you won’t. And that’s what sets Miuccia and Prada apart from the pack. Prada has always been known as the brand that’s years ahead of its time. Elements from collections that Miuccia created years ago continue to pop up in other designers’ collections season after season. Luckily, Madame Prada commands enough respect to never have her designs completely ‘borrowed’. This season’s collection follows suit. Classic, the Prada-ism that put the brand at the top of the fashion game, with touches of forward-thinking design makes for a modern collection fit for fashion’s most progressive dressers. The collection itself was a crossroads of interesting designs, mixing beatnik vests and shirting with flirty in-your-face Prada patterns that the brand is known for. The bright pops of tomato red fit in perfectly with the season’s biggest color trend. And the accessories, as per usual, are simply to die for, with the brand’s signature graphic handbags once again on center stage.
Ethereal beauty reigned supreme at Luisa Beccaria this season. Everything seemed to be touched by a fairy godmother’s wand. Sheer gowns were strewn in embroidered flowers, eyelet lace, pastels, and fancy little polka dots. The show felt very surreal with models walking through a courtyard dotted with petals to the sound of classical music. The color scheme was very soft and delicate, mirroring the overall feeling of the show. Yet the delicate colors didn’t feel fragile but inviting and warm. Even the cool baby blues somehow managed to come across far more sumptuous and warm than cold and icy. Another major factor that made this collection stand out from the crowd of soft and pretty runway shows was its effortless sexiness. Many of the collection’s looks featured barely-there shorts and almost all of the gowns and dresses that walked the runway displayed various levels of transparency. But the collection never felt like it was trying to look sexy — Beccaria managed to infuse grown-up sexiness into the collection by manipulating the levels of sheerness throughout. It wasn’t about provoking by exposing the models’ breasts through gauzy fabric or by revealing a panty underneath a long gown. It was about dressing a woman in a natural, carefree, and self-loving way.