Review: Milan Fashion Week February 2016

©Collage / Julia Zierer

Normally Milan is a true pleasure and a bit of guaranteed relaxation after the ultra hectic New York and due to its brevity, excitingly intensive London. Unfortunately, this time everything turned out a bit differently. The rain and the cold were hard to beat in terms of dreariness – then there was the traffic – and it seemed like everyone gathered at Pasticceria Marchesi, a frosting-covered dream land that offered a contrast to the bad weather. That’s why the line was a mile long and I was outside armed with wet, pastel-colored almonds. It’s also why the accessoire du jour was an umbrella and any hotel guest who had a black umbrella as part of their repertoire was one of the new stars of street style. The fashion, however, was anything but gray, nevertheless very fitting and definitely inspiring!

 

Best Show: Prada! With the first notes of PJ Harvey’s “I Bring You My Love” I had internally decided it almost couldn’t get better! Later, Karen Elson’s “Stolen Roses” played. I found the continuation of the ideas from the men’s show in January to be unusual and exactly right. Starting with the sailor hats seated at the back of the head (of course my favorite was black velvet) to fantastically masculine wool coats covered with pockets and jackets with overcut shoulders in dark maritime blue, gray and Scottish tartans (in a troupe lead by Stella Tennant). The weather-resistant nylon ankoras were cool with high cut arms, and, of course, the romantic winter capes with ornamental toggle closures and large hoods. Here, Miuccia, as with the previous Pre-Fall collection (the aforementioned Men’s show), styled thick wool tights with a diamond pattern, heavy mountain boots and, moreover, velvet and glossy boots with colorful ropes for tying and lavishly cut heels. Also new, but typically ambiguous, were denim, leather or wool corsets worn over outerwear with many small ornaments hanging from leather belts around hips, on bag straps and on chains adorning the neck: metal roses, leather-bound notebooks, keys out of horn and many more classic Prada insignia. Fantastic, bombastic and also seen for the second time were the exclusive artworks designed by Christophe Chemin, translated into Hawaii shirts and skirts by Miuccia. More about that elsewhere … but this much can be revealed: we at hey woman! are IN LOVE with the Berlin-based artist.

My list could continue endlessly, not only about in regards to outerwear, but likewise the feminine brocaded and embroidered velvet dresses are on my “Dream List” for next winter.

And, finally, another surprise: even Prada is doing new speed merchandise handling, which has resulted in countless headlines this season: two models of bags – the “Pionnière” and the “Cahier” have been available in stores in Milan, Paris, London and New York since last Friday.

 

Personal Highlight: The reason I left London in such a hurry is so I wouldn’t miss Gucci! The kick-off show in Milan is a crowning moment. Once again, the pilgrimage of head-to-toe Gucci-wearing fashion people took place in the deserted tram station –  yet finally seeing all of these wonderful pieces from the last shows out and about and on real people is half the fun! The show started with a video installation of Alessandro Michele’s ideas for the collection around the rhizomatic partitur (a rhizome is a type of root system that feeds on the nomadic interaction of different elements) accompanied by unrelated images and flashes of light. The “public” sat behind fine gauze curtain and I suspect that I wasn’t the only one holding my breath so that I wouldn’t miss a single moment of the wonderful details and ideas, starting with the Medici’s all the way to Studio 54 (my absolute favorite were the Asian-inspired silk dresses). This time, Alessandro surprised everyone with a wink from the present: bomber jackets, fur coats and handbags. He engaged the legendary artist, Trevor Andrew (aka Trouble Andrew), who, since the 90s, as the idea for a Halloween costume (he sprayed the Gucci GG on a white ghost sheet), has anointed everything from garbage cans, trash and cheap handbags with the legendary logo. And one last highlight from the show: Our WWL Petra Collins in the 70s suit.

 

Best Cocktail: Who would have thought – Giorgia Tordini and Gilda Ambrosio are not only super cool and wonderful, no, the Italian street style icons teamed up to show their first collection (yes, both are designers in real life) in an elegant apartment on Viale Bianca Maria. And yes, the drinks were fantastic! But not just that – the small, yet impressive selection of beautifully worked, exquisite materials were dresses that, as Gilda explained to me, could be worn all day, evening and even night (and I want to!!!). It’s no surprise: but I’m already dreaming of the black velvet cloak-cape dress!

 

Best Detail: Gianvito Rossi’s military ideas! It really is a true pleasure to see how elegantly and cleverly he converts an idea, that is definitely one of my favorites (yes!) and how he does it with one of the top references and ideas all of the fashion houses from New York to Moscow are focusing on, with such certainty that you definitely only want to wear his version: Bravo!

 

Place to Be: Trattoria “Bebel’s.” Anyone who wants delicious traditional Italian food, but doesn’t have a lot of time and also need a touch of romance (the lighting is definitely A-1), will find happiness here and won’t be too late to their appointments and can also outsmart the constant lack of sleep with an “early bedtime.” I don’t actually know why I’m explaining this, because Bebel’s is always packed full with all my fashion colleagues.