Milan Fashion Week: From Gucci to Armani

Even those who have little knowledge about the fashion industry were unable to miss the walking balls of fur that took to the catwalk last week during Milan Fashion Week. Created by Alessandro Michele, the new head designer for Gucci, the furry shoes immediately caught the industry's attention which led to many raised eyebrows. Armani was also able to catch the industry by surprise during the last day of fashion week with a head-turning garment: the skirt-pants.

In total there were 68 catwalk shows that took place during Milan Fashion Week. "The fashion economy is back on track . It is going to be an excellent fashion week," said Mario Boselli, head of the Nazionale della Moda Italiana, last week prior to the event to AFP. The Italian fashion industry reported an increase of 3.7 percent of sales in 2014. This year the firm expects an increase of 1.6 percent.

Milan Fashion Week: From Gucci to Armani

MFW: From Gucci's fur shoes to Armani's skirt-pants

The question on the catwalks was whether or not the dark fashion spotted in New York and London would also become the new black in Milan. During New York Fashion Week, Alexander Wang showed a winter collection which was completely black, because that is what his customers demanded, claimed Wang. Donna Karan also used color very sparingly, as did Tom Brown and the Row. In London Gareth Pugh was one of the many designers to present a dark collection, with rich fabrics and woven designs.

Miuccia Prada was not in the mood for a dark winter it seems. The Prada collection for Autumn-Winter 15-16 was characterized by pastel shades, as sweet as macarons. What stood out the most however, was the double breasted thick jersey, that ensured dresses, jackets and trousers were displayed off the body. Prada also showed cropped pants and baby-doll tunics which were all styled with accessories such as brooches and bably blue boots.

Gucci's catwalk show however captured everyone's attention, with the newly promoted Alessandro Michele at the creative helm. For his first women's wear collection, which was presented on the second day of Milan Fashion Week, there was already a buzz forming around the fashion house. The former CEO, Patrizio di Marco, exposed the reason behind his and his partner, the former head designer at Gucci Frida Giannini, departure. According to di Marco, both him and his wife were removed from the fashion house via a carefully formed exit plan.

Milan Fashion Week: From Gucci to Armani

Fresh and young fashion takes to the catwalk at Gucci

Michele showed no signs of being affected by all the commotion and instead gracefully took leave of Giannini's signature - understated, yet still feminine, although not as decadent as it was under Tom Ford's reign - and went for a romantic, young look. There were floral prints, fringes and transparent tops. Pink and blue skirts and dresses paired with fur slippers, glasses and bags with bees. Hats were also dominant, which have now become a luxury item according to the designer.

Instead of the sexy, vampish Gucci woman the industry has become accustomed too is now a girlish, geeky women with straight hair and a little makeup. "Sexuality is on the inside, it is a private matter," said Michele to the Telegraph after the show. His source of inspiration for the collection was most likely Magot Tenebaum, from the film 'The Royal Tenebaums' from Wes Anderson in 2001. There were coats, paired with flat shoes and chiffon blouses which very reminiscent of the character, although Michele did not go further into detailed on the matter.

Milan Fashion Week: From Gucci to Armani

Giorgio Armani presented his vision for the next season on the final day of Milan Fashion Week, with one piece standing out from the rest - the skirt-pants. At the front the garment appears to be spilt and consist of two loose garments, but from behind it is clear to see that the skirt meshes into the trousers, looking much like a pair of ordinary trousers with a low crotch.

Armani presents fairytale evening wear

Armani also presented evening wear which took the form of Cinderella-like dress in sparking blue and pink, very reminiscent of American high school prom wear. For consumers who are not sixteen years old anymore, the eighty year old designer created a series of trousers that fell wide across the thighs and then tapered to at the ankles. He also used shawls with long fringes as belts when needed.

Max Mara, who is best known for its outerwear, took its inspiration for its collection from the late Marilyn Monroe, presenting tight pencil skirts and sweater which drew attention to the breast. According to Elle, the label also set a new coat trend: not closing the outerwear with buttons or cords but holding it shut by hand instead. The magazine named the trend Clutchin, adding that it gives the wearer the opportunity to show layering underneath the coat when worn.

Rodolfo Paglialunga, who has taken over the baton from Raf Simons at Jil Sander, elaborated on the established minimalist style the fashion house is known for. Although he is more of a fan of prints than his predecessors. Jeremy Scott, the chief designer at Moschino decided to swap Barbie for the Looney Tunes, whilst Versace on the other hand showed very little innovation. Donatella decided to give typical looks from Versace a mini make-over, such as the Me print.

Children take to the catwalk at Dolce & Gabbana

Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana see children as the latest trend, with pregnant model Bianca Balti being the high point of the show, im homage to their own mothers. As usual the male design duo used a lot of lace in the collection, as well as florals and intricate patterns.

Besides the established names taking to the catwalks in Milan, there was also a handful of young talent presenting their work. Such as the presentation of Arthur Arbesser, who was born in Vienna and studied at Central Saint Martins before working for seven years at Armani prior to his nomination for the Young Designer Award from French luxury conglomerate LVMH. Italian-Haitian designer Stella Jean also caught the industry's attention with her first collection presentation, with her designs catching the attention of artist Rihanna.

 

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