The Fashion Statement: Italians Do It Better?
Milan is delivering the most exciting fashion weeks in years. Fashion critics have been giving rave reviews to Italian designers saying that, for the most part, the collections have been inspired.
One of the more subdued shows of the week, Giorgio Armani (pictured above), presented a spring/summer 2011 collection of entirely navy blue and black--not exactly the most spring/summery of colors. No matter, the fitted double breasted blazers, one-shouldered gowns and skirts over sheer leggings were stunning. Even more interesting: His models were turned out in turbans and veils.
As for the rest of them, Milanese designers went mad for neon, prints and all-around visual mayhem. Prada (pictured below), sent out a parade of eye-blinding combinations, showing a green-and-black horizontally striped skirt with a black-and-white striped handbag and red-yellow-and-black checkered Mary Janes. It works.
Colors and prints are where labels Missoni, Versus and Etro excel, so the expectation was great. They did not disappoint. True to heritage, Missoni sent out apron dresses and tribal looking patchworks of knits in multi-colored yarn while Versus and Etro combined bold florals with geometric prints.
There was also hope for Pucci, another house known for print and color, but by and large fashion critics were disappointed. The line's subtle batik prints and neutral-colored day dresses paled in comparison to other house's acid hues.
I have always wondered when the '70s obsession with prairie dresses and fussy floral prints would rear its head again. Aquilano.Rimondi answered my question--now. The designer showed floor-grazing versions along with horizontal-striped yellow, red and black skirts paired with floral shirts on black backgrounds. Sounds questionable, I know, but it was gorgeous.
Lest you think harem pants are a thing of the past, think again. Gucci presented high-waisted versions with a crotch that dropped halfway down the thigh for day, and below the knee for night.
Dolce & Gabbana, once again, payed tribute to Sicily. This time, and perhaps on the same monochrome tip as Armani, the designers reinterpreted your Italian grandmother's lace table cloths in a collection of virginal whites.
Finally, a note about hair. What did many Italian designers choose? The slicked back chignon. According to a piece in the New York Times this morning, one editor found the look severe and aggressive, while another said it was the only round element in collections filled with angles and lines.