Rachel Finn rounds up the shows that caught her eye from Milan Fashion Week S/S 2014.
Dolce & Gabbana
For the summer season, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana drew once again from the apparently bottomless-pit of Italian-culture inspiration in a collection that cycled through three key classic wardrobe-staple shades – matt black, striking foil gold and warm, bright red. This was not a collection of simplicity, but one of striking contrast: the bold elegance of gold coin medallions against the pared-back sophistication of classic black lace and the soft yellow and blue pastels twined with cascading pink blossom prints. Note here the polka dots in classic red/black and black/white combos, suggesting everyone’s favourite Minnie-Mouse association is due for a comeback. And, in common with the summer knitwear seen on the catwalks in London, here we have summer furs, nodding towards next season teaching us all a lesson in ‘sweaty’ chic.
McQ Alexander McQueen
For this McQueen diffusion line, ‘McQ’ offered us an imprint of the late McQueen’s theatricality, a little sister offering us something a little more wearable than her older sibling’s vast showmanship. Here, past famous McQueen motifs resurfaced in staples such as biker jackets, little dresses and printed denim jeans. The reptilian sea creature creations of the designer’s penultimate collection ‘Plato’s Atlantis’ is echoed across trousers and skirts and McQueen’s bow on the runway of his Spring 2009 collection – dressed as a bunny rabbit – appears, cartooned, on an oversized jumper. This small McQueen imprint has the opportunity and, indeed, the following to grow the Alexander McQueen brand into a more casual-wear orientated market.
For SS14, Alessandro Dell’Acqua sent his girls packing on a summer holiday with an androgynous twist. His girl-meets-boy aesthetic is nothing new, but this season with crisp polo neck shirts and blazers clashing alongside lingerie-inspired uber-feminine elements such as sheer skirts, floral embellishments and silk, the contrast felt a little greater and thus, a little more thrilling. The brand seems to have been searching for a set ‘look’ for a few seasons now, but this time, Dell’Acqua is a little closer to that goal, if not already there.
What began with delicate white and palest peach lace, flowered embroidery and trailing translucent curtain skirts, reminiscent of a secret garden party, evolved into bright yellows and orange-tinted reds and ended in swathes of black leather, silver diamantes, feathers and reveal-all dresses. Blumarine’s girl began her night at a summer tea party and ended up on the dance floor, it seems, in a collection that was as beautiful and classic as it was provocative and unpredictable. Strappy, chunky, black ankle boots with evening gowns perhaps suggests designer Anna Molinari envisions her creations as more than just striking red carpet pieces (the grunge era’s antithesis between the harsh and the pretty is back, didn’t you hear?) but a collection appealing to a wide range of tastes suggests it’ll do just as well appealing to a celebrity crowd as it will on the streets.
Mesh-detailing as well as cut-out panels on casualwear and eveningwear alike gave Pucci’s Spring/Summer collection an elegance not always expected in fashion and that is ultimately inspired by the clothing of athletes and gym-goers. Perhaps it had something to do with the high-powered pattern and prints or the multi-coloured beading, but this was not a sports-chic inspired collection that left anyone thinking too much of athleticism. Silk, sequins and plenty of shine made the idea of luxe sportswear-inspired style seem exciting. Also, let’s take a moment to (hopefully) welcome back the accessory of a belt as a waist-cinching accessory back into our lives, shall we?