Those watching the Milan fw22 collections entered a parallel universe on the third day of the shows when Russia invaded its neighbor Ukraine. Certainly it begs the question, is it frivolous to watch fashion shows at the very moment one country declares war on another? Perhaps it could be conceived in that way, but the show must go on, especially after two years of mostly digital presentations. The trickle down effect from the major and indeed, some of the minor, fashion weeks is immense, providing work for thousands and thousands of people and creating revenues larger than the GDP of many small countries. In any case, fashion trends reflect the cultural zeitgeist so if you want to know what's happening in the world you could do worse than watching the current shows.
For several years now, the main cultural conversation has centered upon gender fluidity. The fashion world has answered the call, with fashion brands all over the world using non-binary and transgendered models, showing skirts and dresses for men and designing broad-shouldered tailored suits for women. More and more often men's and women's wear are shown simultaneously. Several Italian designers including Fendi, Versace, Blumarine and Dolce & Gabbana went a step further showing looks that combined both masculine and feminine details in a single outfit. Nowhere was this more evident than at Prada; a singlet or a wool blazer decorated with a ring of feathers around the upper arm worn over layers including a crystal embellished sheer midi-length skirt.
As seen throughout the pre-fall and fw22 seasons, designers including Elisabetta Franchi, Andreadamo and Dolce & Gabbana showed skin baring looks in head-to-toe black. At Roberto Cavalli, Fausto Puglisi showed fetishistic "cage" tops and dresses with cutouts and metal rings. Fendi showed sheer black dresses that revealed black lingerie beneath. At Versace there were latex leggings under a corseted mini dress and Julia Fox in the front row with a latex-wrapped ponytail!
The puffy nylon sporty trendsees no signs of abating and Milan was no exception. At Anteprima, that meant puffy nylon ochre colored outerwear and scarves. At Max Mara, quilted burnt orange nylon pants had zips on the sides and were teamed with second skin cashmere sweater and matching balaclava and a pair of ochre colored nylon pants were shown with a ribbed mockturtle neck sweater. Canasa and Daniela Gregis both showed nylon bomber jackets.
Tartan and Plaid
Following on from the pre-fall collections, Milan designers showed many outfits rendered in tartan and plaid fabrics. Some used it in an anarchic way, perhaps a nod to the kilted Scottish warriors who fought the English, or more recently Vivienne Westward's punk movement of the late '70s. Case in point, Francesco Risso showed an earth-toned tartan skirt with a shredded satin pink top and overlong red and black pants. At AC9, oversized pleated plaid pants were shown with a long line bra and long fingerless organza gloves. Gucci collaborated with Adidas this season and the result was a collection that included many show stopping looks. In one, a yellow and brown tartan skirt was shown over classic blue Adidas track pants and teamed with a tailored look on top. At Roberto Cavalli, Fausto Puglisi showed a layered mini kilt over an all-in-one printed with roses and thorns.
With each passing year, there is a growing desire for clothing in trans-seasonal colors. Winter white has been trending for many seasons now and this coming fall will be joined by various pastel shades more traditionally associated with spring. At Fendi, icy pink, green and lavender, work back to pearl grey and a pop of red. At Jil Sander, Easter egg colors of pale yellow, lavender and peach were worked into a palette of earth tones and monochromes. Marco Ramhaldi's sporty collection of mostly knit pieces was rendered in pastels. At MM6 Maison Margiela showed a group of looks in pale colors including a peachy toned parka.