Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2017 is over and Veronika has all the exclusive insights from Gucci, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana
Milan Fashion Week is usually my calm-down destination, where I enjoy a routine of great meals and that of the never-changing schedule. That was not the case this time. Whereas many brands have not yet managed the jump into the “New Age of Fashion” – whether that’s due to a creative mission or simply the fact that they want to enjoy playing “Sleeping Beauty” just a little longer – quite a few brands have not only woken up from that sleep, but are shaking up the MFW schedule and making fashion hearts leap!
Here are my insights on the best of the best:
Best Show: Gucci
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Never before have I felt exhausted after a show. And not just a little bit, but really really overwhelmed – as in having the urgent need to lay down immediately. I honestly didn’t really understand what was going on, but now that I’d had some time to reflect on it, I’ve realized it was because the impact that this collection and everything around it had on me was just a bit too much – too good to be true.
But let’s start at the beginning. This Gucci FW17 show was the first at which the brand decided to show men and women together – and it was also the first for which it invited everyone to its headquarters located just a little outside of Milan. And all of this certainly made room for huge expectations: they had the chance to built their own fantasy runway, which wasn’t yet visible when we were getting seated thanks to a large, dark violet silk curtain.
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When the music started and the curtains lifted, there wasn’t much time to take in the amazing glass pipe that would be the runway as the models started coming right away. And not one by one, but like a parade of endless beauty, fantasy, and coolness. My jaw didn’t even get a second to undrop – there was that much to see. Next to the immense desire I was feeling for the garments, I was also really wishing I had two phones to film it with simultaneously (like digi-pro Tina Leung, who was sitting next to me) while the light was constantly shifting from red to purple to blue and then back again, letting you basically see everything in all the varied shades.
Amazing silk gowns, richly embroidered suits, corduroy flares, cut-off t-shirts made in collaboration with Coco Capitán – all heavily accessorized as usual – plus new items like a beautifully ornamented walking stick and oversized cocktail umbrellas. It was a constant up and down between ultra-glam and super-relaxed, but there was always something you could obsess over in a second. The bodysuits – either made of wool or crystal with hoods – and the big nose rings reminded a bit of Alexander McQueen’s A/W 2009 “Horn of Plenty” show. Alessandro Michele’s signature checked lumberjack shirts (he wears them every single day) added to this scottish undertone.
And that’s not all. The guests at the show alone were the perfect mix of hollywood, cool, royal, and art world – all sporting their own interpretation of Gucci.
Best Party: Gucci
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The hysteria didn’t stop there! After trying to calm down with a good Italian dinner in my favorite restaurant, Bice, we were thrown into a beautifully created madness – aka Alessandro Michele’s invitation to party in an all-girls boarding school. Luckily the pupils had to sleep at some point (and just one floor above the party), so all the guests had to leave around 1am.
But before that happened, we were stunned by all the rooms of the backlit palazzo, Tori Amos performing live and, once again, all those cool kids in head-to-toe Gucci. I have to say, I really enjoy the freedom and fun everybody seems to have at Gucci. You could turn up in a tracksuit or a ballgown: both perfectly suitable.
Also, don’t miss the joy of sunglasses movie Petra Collins’ made for the brand (watch the video above)!
Best Look: Prada
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By now I should know better than to choose my favorite collection before seeing Miuccia’s take on the season! How can you not love this parade of down-to-earth surfer corduroy coolness including knitted bras, furry belts, and glamorous, floor-sweeping grungy silk gowns with buckle-studded flat over-the-knee boots, leather hats, and beaded knit scarves. Well, to be honest I kind of expected greatness after her men’s show in January – the corduroy suits, shell necklaces, and furry moccasins there started this new bohemian direction.
The combination of last decade’s key pieces – from nerdy and cool to fancy and posh – started rumours that this collection was Miuccia’s autobiography shown in looks. The show set (Prada definitely won this category, too) contributed its share in this idea: the many beds in all different shades of the collection made with Prada signature materials (including all the nasty and weird ones like latex and neon fake fur) were reminiscent of teenage rooms complete with passport pics and all sorts of posters and notes pinned to the walls.
Needless to say, this set certainly won the social media photography prize – not just at the show, but also during the re-sees – for allover exposure. In the best possible way. #movingintheshowset
Best Cocktail: 032c Slam Jam
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It was just the perfect juxtaposition between the glamour and the greatness of Italy’s mega-brands – Valentino was also showing its new sunglasses collection in another amazingly set-up and backlit Palazzo – that this event basically turned into a street festival. As you all might know, we here at hey woman! are fans and followers of Berlin-based 032c, so I was eager to say hi and give my congrats at Jörg and Maria Koch’s latest collaboration: a badass motocross capsule collection for the uber-cool Milanese shop Slam Jam.
Next Level: Dolce & Gabbana
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Sadly, I wasn’t able to see this happening with my own eyes, but thanks to Instagram Live Stories and what felt like a trillion posts, I excitedly watched the duo’s move to turn the classic roles of fashion upside down.
What interests me most about their move to opt for bloggers, influencers, and couture clients on their runway instead of models is that apparently they also got to chose their looks themselves. What impact this will have on overall fashion?
They certainly guaranteed themselves huge coverage on all the relevant channels. Secondly, a move like that to keep your most faithful customers even closer is kind of genius. Of course this might raise some eyebrows, but doesn’t that just fuel more coverage in the form of posts, articles, and simply dinner conversation in the industry – and maybe even beyond? I’m simply wondering what will happen next season. How many other brands will try this path for themselves?
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Born and raised in Munich/Germany, Veronika’s professional career has developed from being a model to a fashion editor, to online luxury retailing and most recently style editor of Harpers Bazaar Germany. She currently lives in Berlin where in the beginning of 2015 she started a company with Julia Knolle, the ex-editor at large of Vogue Digital.
Oh, and she loves pugs!