Yay! Italy! Milan Fashion Week was always my favorite out of the four weeks when I was younger. Now with the revamped Gucci, Milan is even more of a staple than it used to be. Some people even skip London and go straight to Milan from New York. I used to always love Milan because I felt that the designers often presented a unified front in the sense that they always designed very feminine and womanly clothes. I also used to love Dolce & Gabbana and I looked forward to the show each season. Now I don’t care for it as much as before but I can still appreciate the beauty. Things have changed slightly but Milan still remains one of the highlights of fashion month for me.
I’ve been really terrible at blogging for the entire month of February. I have a zillion drafts saved with various titles about events that happened throughout the month, yet I have no desire to write about them now because it’s just too late. Like, aren’t we all over New York Fashion Week? Hasn’t the shock of Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy departure worn off? I feel like instead of typing out my thoughts on these events, I’ve discussed them in person, either with my friends or in school. That being said, I’ve kept a long-running note on my Macbook with various observations that I’ve made throughout fashion month so instead of breaking my posts up by city, I’m just going to put it all in one post in a rambling post. I hope you enjoy!
Ok, so the exciting thing about New York Fashion Week was the fact that Raf Simons was back. Even though he had only been gone for such a small period of time, it seemed like an eternity in fashion when everything moves so quickly and a few seasons feels like 4 years. I personally liked his debut ready-to-wear collection for Calvin Klein, especially the transparent plastic over the trench coats (reminded me of the Doom Generation which I was obsessed with when I was fifteen) and the heavy focus on outerwear. However, I can see that the #mycalvins will be a thing of the past and that sucks but the Moonlight cast underwear ads are incredible so we’re all good. Alexander Wang was another show that I really liked, especially these two looks (a and b), and the venue was cool. The long leather coats at The Row were super cool. I loved this suit at Jason Wu. A theme I noticed throughout NYFW was grey blazers, in some form of check. This made me mad at myself because I used to own the most perfect vintage Ralph Lauren one a few years ago but I gave it to charity because I rarely wore it. Big mistake. I normally love Area’s lookbooks but they moved to a show format this season which was kind of sad actually but it does show growth for the brand. I’m obsessed with this coat from Proenza Schouler. Anything that combines vinyl-looking leather and fur/shearing, I’m onboard with. Narciso Rodriguez’s collection was very much how I wish I dressed on a day-to-day basis.
By the time London Fashion Week rolled around, I was in LA. During that time I barely touched my phone for social media or email purposes. I just used the Maps app for directions.
I didn’t like the runway at Gucci because I think it was too distracting for the actual showgoers, plus there were too many looks. The standout ones were a, b, and c – I’m so happy about the return of snakeskin boots. The colors at Max Mara were perfect. Honestly everything about that show just looked so good. The styling was sublime. I was so into the red boots at Fendi. I want a pair already, it was an instant sale (if only I could afford them). This coat at Prada is to die for. The dry-cleaning theme at Moschino was hilarious, they even put a wire hanger in the model’s hair.
This dress at Jacquemus is so beautiful, it reminded me of vintage Chanel with a twist. This brand has the best IG. I love the new Saint Laurent, even if it’s just 80s redone. I’m so desperate for a pair of the logo earrings. From this collection I loved the sparkling mini dresses (a and b), the latter of the pair being a better version of the one I wore on New Years. Surprisingly I found myself liking a lot of looks at Off-White. I say surprisingly because although I like Virgil Abloh and admire his work ethic, I have never been the biggest fan of his clothes. However, this collection was interesting to me, even though it was entitled “Nothing New” I thought it was different for him. I want to wear this look, but I also like a, b, and c. This coat at Mugler was 80s power shoulders to the max and I thought it was so fun. Balenciaga was actually interesting to me. Normally I’m not a big fan of Demna Gvasalia but this collection was great, particularly a, b, and c. It was sad to see a Givenchy collection without Riccardo Tisci (I wasn’t ready for his departure to be a real thing) but I do like how they directly referenced pieces from his tenure. It was a nice tribute. Louis Vuitton rented out the Louvre for the show and honestly this is an instance where the design standard matched the location. I loved it. In particular, a and b.
The same as with London, I am almost a week late in writing this post. I really have no excuses other than life has gotten in the way. I feel slightly disillusioned at the moment. I don’t know if it is because I’m now going to fashion school or if it’s because I’m living in New York and am exposed to this kind of thing on a daily basis, but fashion doesn’t excite me the same way that it normally does. Or more so fashion week doesn’t excite me. I’m sick of seeing images on Instagram and videos on Snapchat the second the show is done (and often during) and I’m even sicker of seeing the same damn celebrity models all the time (although Bella Hadid is truly an 11/10). I love the accessibility of fashion and without the internet I know I would be a complete outsider, but I feel like it is also backfiring a little bit as the change is constant and too quick and I often struggle to pay attention to everything that is happening and all the looks that are shown. When was the last time you seen something truly groundbreaking?
Anyway, I’m just going to post a few of my favourite looks from Milan and hopefully by the time Paris is over I’ll have something a little bit more constructive and meaningful to say. I’m just in a little bit of a funk right now unfortunately.
And a show that I’m completely obsessed with: Prada!
As with London, I’m a little late in writing this for Milan. I have been so busy over the past week or so that I haven’t had the time to even think about fashion week. I see a constant stream of images on Instagram so I know what has been going on but I’m not totally in the loop. It doesn’t help that I just started my Netflix free trial and have become hooked on Suits. Anyway, on to fashion week:
Firstly, I liked the sailor hats. They were a fun touch and I can definitely imagine some girls wearing them. I’m not sure if any of you have watched her videos but there’s a Youtuber named Sammi Quinn who I think would definitely wear one and look great whilst doing so. Apart from that, I had to dissect every look piece by piece. I find that’s what I have to do with Prada’s shows to see anything in them. The runway looks are always too much at once for me and I need to imagine what the clothes would be like on a rack. For that reason, I loved the coats with the fur trims, especially the leather one pictured above and the hybrid fur sleeve deal (I love the mix of fabrics, just like Sally LaPointe’s fur sleeved sweaters). I also really liked the printed shirts (one is worn in the look with the aforementioned coat) and the patterned long coats. Overall, lots of pieces that I’d buy if I were rich and needing a lot of new, non-basic clothes. It was just a really good collection.
I really loved the colour scheme at Versace. The black, blues, and salmon pink was fun and pulled the collection together. The knit jumper worn by Natasha Poly stood out to me because it was just so un-Versace in my mind, yet it worked. Outerwear is my favourite type of clothing, both to look at and to shop for and I think there were a few coats in this collection worth a second look – namely the navy with leather lapels worn by Adriana Lima and the bright pink one worn by Imaan Hammam (I adore her). The accessories were strong in this collection as well. Versace is not a brand I’d ever think of for a handbag but perhaps I should open my mind a bit more.
To be completely honest, I don’t know very much about this brand. I clicked on the thumbnail because I liked the look of it and ended up liking almost every look in the collection. I am all about elevated basics. I’m here for practicality. I know that can sound terribly boring but I’d rather splurge on something I know I can wear for years to come than a trend piece that you’re better off buying at Topshop. The soft, slightly muted colours were divine and the clothes all looked very soft and feminine. Some looks played with proportions, for example the red look pictured above with the wide sleeves, whereas others were tight and cinched in at the waist. I don’t know about you but I can see a lot of pieces that could be a lot of use to me. That’s what excites me about fashion. Clothes are made to be worn!
Another collection that I suppose fits in with the minimalist movement. I think you’re either in one camp or another. Maximalists will have enjoyed Gucci, Minimalists will enjoy Jil Sander, some people love both. The white coat with the black buttons reminded me of a doctors outfit but cooler, hence why I liked that. The collection had quite a cool, oversized vibe to it and I love that. I once read about how costume designers used to give Joan Crawford shoulder pads because her shoulders were naturally wide and this collection made me think of that story. She was not afraid to make herself boxier and in the Kardashian, body-con era that we are now in, I think it’s important to remember that slouchy and oversized is fine too. Honestly, I wear both.
And the rest…
The embellishments on this golden dress at Ermanno Scervino were so beautiful. I want to see Selena Gomez in this. Also, is that a mini cross body bag or part of the dress? I haven’t managed to see a video yet to see it in motion.
Turquoise and peach was a colour scheme that ran through the Fendi show, similar to that of Versace. I loved how elegant Julia Nobis looks in this look and how cool Imaan Hammam looks here (I love the stole). However, if I were to buy anything from the collection it would definitely be this coat with a furry collar and trimmings.
Now that fashion month has been over for a while, I’ve had time to reflect on everything and really form opinions. You know, taking a second look at things with fresh eyes really helps. Often something that I loved first time around doesn’t move me upon a second glance, and on the contrary, the opposite can happen and something that I hated, I now love, or like at least. So I’ve decided to do this the easy way, and the way that I’m guessing most of you would prefer, and keep it short and sweet. I figure there’s no point in rehashing out the stuff that I, and many other people, have already said, so this is probably going to be in list form. I’m doing 4 categories of “bests” with 4 picks in each of them, hence the title of this post. And just so you know, if I’m picking the best out of each four fashion weeks, Milan was hands-down my favourite. But that was no surprise.
BEST SHOW IN EACH CITY
Since when I’m doing my reviews, I pick out 5 shows that I like the best, it is easy to narrow down from that five into just one. What I did find was that I couldn’t actually remember any shows from London. When I was brainstorming this post, I wrote Altuzarra for New York and MaxMara for Milan, but nothing for London. I actually had to go back and look at my own post. That’s not so good and I think confirms that London’s fashion just doesn’t stick in my mind. That’s not to say that they are short of talented designers, because that’s not true, they just don’t stay in my brain the same way designers from the other cities did. Anyhow, I’m veering off topic.
- NEW YORK – Altuzarra, but Jason Wu comes a very close second
- LONDON – Tom Ford (is this cheating?)
- MILAN – MaxMara
- PARIS – Givenchy
I am fascinated by Italy at the moment. I’m taking an art history class, mainly focused on the Renaissance, and it has me urging to visit. The beautiful paintings, architecture, and sculptures created in the many regions of the country are so very inspiring. So if Italy is the birthplace of the Renaissance, and art is so ingrained in Italian culture, it only makes sense that they excel at fashion – you know, the wearable type of art.
To be honest, it is Milan Fashion Week that gets me most excited. I feel an affinity with Italy, a place I have never even travelled to, and I adore Italian fashion. Just think, they have the best fashion magazine (Vogue Italia), some of the most stunning models (Bianca Balti, Monica Belluci, and Carla Bruni to name a few), and many of the top brands (Prada, Versace, Fendi, and so many more). I always struggle to whittle down my Milan review to something short enough that people would actually want to read; I could go on and on for thousands of words. So let’s hope this season is no different. I’m writing this introduction on the 25th, so the first day of the collections, and so far I’ve only seen a few images from Gucci. I can hardly wait to see what the rest of the week brings!
Before I seen any images from this collection, I saw the inspiration board and I knew it was going to be a winner. It was full of photos of Marilyn Monroe, from the one of her on the beach wrapped up in an aztec cardigan, to one with her and Arthur Miller frolicking in the sand, and many more. I love Marilyn. I think she is one of the unsung style icons of the 20th century. Yes, she is an icon for sure, but her personal style is often ignored. For example, her most well-known look is probably the white halterneck Travilla dress that she wore in the Seven Year Itch for the infamous subway-blowing-up-skirt shot. This collection has captured more than that. It is full of soft, chunky knits, cosy camel coats (a MaxMara staple), and wonderful skirt suits. The clothes are the type that you’d want to touch, that if you were wearing you’d nuzzle your sleeve against your cheek to comfort yourself. I want to dress like this everyday, maybe minus the shiny quilted pieces though… Also, the hair and make-up was stunning, so easy to recreate as well. PS – I love this bag.
First and foremost, Fendi is a furrier. That is what their business was built on, and that is what it continues to be known for to this day. Each collection, fur is incorporated and it is often used in many different ways. As trims, as lining, as the main piece itself, as a bag – you name it, they’ve done it. The patchwork coats in this collection were brilliant, as were the bags, and that one fur dress… Karl Lagerfeld often produces, in my opinion, better work at Fendi than he does at Chanel, something that I find interesting considering that a lot of people don’t know that he designs at both. People say it is the collaboration with the Fendi family that makes his work better, or more so that it is their work. Either way, I like this collection. They played with proportions, with oversized pea coats and big puffy furs. Also, a wonderful graphic print was created to look like patchwork, or a grid – it reminded me slightly of YSL’s Mondrian print but without the clear block lines – I just love it, I want it, I need it.
Ok, I admit it. I love it. I want to be a Versace women. They are confident and ooze sex appeal, a bit odd considering some of the models who were less than bombshells. But maybe that is what Versace is about? Making everyone look sexy, regardless of their body type. The big belts, the signature Greek print, the mid-thigh high boots, the choker spelling out V-E-R-S-A-C-E: everything was brilliant and I’m struggling to fault it. I could’ve done without the hashtags and @ signs, but perhaps that is just reflective of our digital age. Donatella has somehow made puffy jackets look good (and I hate puffy jackets normally), made obvious branding that was very 90s look up-to-date (Versace written right across the chest, for example), and made very Gianni style dresses that look just as good on Natasha Poly now as they did on Christy and co. in the early 90s.
DOLCE & GABBANA
It’s no surprise that this is on my list. It always is. To put it simply, I love the brand. I could gush on and on about them for hours, but basically their brand and their ideal woman is everything I want to be: sexy (but not in a trashy way), confident, elegant, motherly (you know, for that time waaaaay into the future), Italian. To me, they embody Italian fashion and nobody does it better. This collection was a celebration of motherhood, something that is very Italian. Stereotypically, Italian men are mama’s boys and interestingly, a large proportion of the population live at home until they are married. Family is important, and women even more so. I can’t talk about this collection without giving a nod to Angelina Jolie’s wedding dress, Versace-designed, which has to have been a jump-off point for this collection. It features drawings similar to what Angelina had on her wedding dress (done by her kids) on many of the dresses and skirts in the collection, but there was also definitely a Madonna and child vibe going on with this collection. Furthermore, a very-pregnant Bianca Balti walked, and still managed to look stunning. She definitely isn’t like any pregnant women I know! Also, look how happy this little girl looks, it’s so cute. Overall it was a stunning collection which featured many of the Dolce & Gabbana signatures that we have come to expect: lace, florals, and well cut dresses that accentuate the body in the best way possible. Viva La Mamma!
This was a collection of epic length, 85 looks in total – some of which looked slightly repetitive. However, overall I’m a fan. Giorgio Armani presented one of my favourite collections at Spring 2015 Couture Week, and he has done the same again. It all looks so wearable, a word that lots of people use as a criticism. I don’t see how you can criticise something for being commercial since fashion is, first and foremost, a business. The companies need to make things that will sell or they will cease to exist. I don’t think I’m someone who lives for a theatrical collection: I enjoy watching them, but I rarely adore the clothes. I’m all for practicality. The print on the trousers of the first look were almost watercolour, they had a fluidity and made the trousers appear to swish as the model walked, even more than they did naturally. Moreover, this fur jumper looked so cosy, and the interesting hybrid of skirt and trousers (I’d say better than the skort) added something a little more to a look that could’ve been so basic. Armani already has a similar pair of trousers out just now, although the skirt is less pronounced as it is just a crossover flap at the front (linked), from his collezioni line.
And the rest…
Alessandro Michele’s debut at Gucci was fine, but I didn’t love it. This fur coat was stunning but I thought there were a few things wrong with the rest of the collection: 1) the ugly glasses that the models all wore, 2) the horribly un-diverse cast that was just so glaringly obvious, and 3) the prints (x & y) that looked too Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2014 for my liking – yes, they were slightly different, sans owls and also pleated, but they looked very similar, so much so that I thought they were identical when I was browsing through the thumbnails.
Fausto Puglisi was very Versace. I’m surprised they don’t get him in to design a Versus collection. His work has the ability to take you back to the Gianni days, which is not to say that the designer is derivative but he is clearly influenced. The gold accents on skirts and dresses, and the super-sexy cuts are classic Puglisi, and I just adore this dress. Also, the coral jewellery was insane and was said to be inspired by Loulou de la Falaise, the iconic YSL muse. I’m waiting to see Nicki Minaj in this dress.
Luisa Beccaria’s collection gave me post-war, high society woman vibes. Just look at the sleeves on this top, how amazing.
Alberta Ferretti’s collection was very different from last season’s ethereal, delicate pinks and flowers. This time around it was all about folk and fairytales. It made me feel like I should be in the middle of a forest with Goldilocks and the three bears, or something along those lines. This dress that Aya Jones wore was beautiful, or maybe it is just Aya that makes anything look good. Furthermore, this dress looked like a painting – so stunning.
I loved the all-black palette at Costume National. This look, in particular, was minimalism at its finest, but let’s be clear, it wasn’t normcore. Normcore equals boring, minimalism equals sophistication.
I don’t even know if this is a coat or a dress, it probably could be both, but I love it. The colour is so gorgeous. This was at Blumarine.
Prada is making me feel conflicted. On one hand, I don’t love it and I think the reason for that is because I spent so long trawling the archives and falling in love with old collections (collections which this one looks nothing like…). On the other hand, it is pretty and feminine, and the use of the double-faced jersey to look like neoprene was pretty damn cool, but is it anything more than that? Prada’s sales have been stagnant recently so perhaps that is why this collection is a little bit safer than usual. One thing can be guaranteed though, come the September issues and this collection will be in all the magazines; it always is, so why would things be any different this year? I love these looks (x, y & z).
Jeremy Scott at Moschino was, as expected, fun. I think I’ve now realised that you can’t take it seriously, it’s all for amusement. It started with some puffa coats, then transitioned into Looney Tunes prints, then some blingy-denim, then teddy bears galore, ending with graffiti print gowns (which I loved). However, my favourite part of the collection was the teddy bear backpacks as they were just like the perfume bottle. You can get a vintage backpack on Etsy just now for around £420. I can’t wait to see this collection in editorials to be honest; fashion editors have a way of making Moschino look really good in print. And yes, you can shop the capsule collection already.
Roberto Cavalli was classic Cavalli, complete with leopard print and plunging necklines. I can’t wait to see Nicki Minaj in this collection, especially as she is the current face of the brand. I hope she wears this dress.
I think I’ve found a potential wedding gown at Ermanno Scervino, modelled by Jessica Stam who has walked a select few shows for the past couple of seasons. Look at the gown though, stunning!
The opening look at Trussardi was insane. It was a chocolate-brown leather coat, complemented perfectly by a lipstick in a similar shade. I really liked most of this collection to be honest, very wearable, unfussy clothes for everyday life.
Finally, I urge you to look at the Ter et Bantine collection as it is brilliant.
While it may be a borderline unpopular opinion, I still love Dolce & Gabbana. Yes, there may be the slight overboard of references to their culture and sometimes a little too much gold, for me it still works. I think it’s their ad campaigns in recent years which make me love the brand so much, they’re fun and seem like it’s really a (super hot) family photo instead of forced shot like some others. To me, Dolce & Gabbana still screams luxury and wealth, when I was younger I had always heard of Dolce & Gabbana as I read in (my mum’s) magazines about famous actresses wearing them and which as a little kid was my only knowledge of fashion, as they were probably one of the first luxury brands I was ever exposed to so it’s always going to stick with me. To me, I’ve always had the idea that the brand is just purely classy with sex appeal and somehow that’s what I like.
Now although there was lots of religious references which some may hate, I didn’t mind it. I read elsewhere that this collection referenced the movie “La Dolce Vita” but I have never seen it so I can’t judge whether I picked up on the references or not. I thought the collection was very elegant and exactly what I expected, that’s probably a negative for most people but I think of it as positive. I always know that I am going to like at least some of what I see with this brand.
Now I may contradict things I have said in the past when discussing Dolce & Gabbana for example, I usually detest prints, I’m really all for minimalism in general, but for Dolce & Gabbana I absolutely treasure the prints. Often they are very beautiful and work for the brand itself. I can see THE Dolce & Gabbana girl in my head (always Bianca Balti of course). I don’t know, I just have a soft spot for these designers, however repetitive they may be.
Now onto the collection…. PHOTO HEAVY FROM NOW ON.