The Italian fashion industry is home to some true design icons: men and women who have been runway stalwarts for many years, dictators of refined and sophisticated style in Italy and beyond. Milan Fashion Week sees them come together in a grand celebration of a city that is steeped in the traditions of design and clothes manufacturing. This season was a season of flux for Milan, where we saw some changes in the creative directorships at some houses, with new designers being instated and others leaving for pastures new. We’ve rounded up and reviewed five of the best collections from some of Italy’s pre-eminent design houses.
Miuccia Prada is certified Italian fashion royalty. She took over her family’s luxury goods business in 1978 and turned it into one of the world’s premium fashion brands, launching her first ready-to-wear collection in 1989. This season, we were witness to some distinct heritage looks that were primped and preened to form a modern and captivating show. Prada adopted classic sixties forms, with heavy tweed coats, shift dresses, empire lines, elbow-length gloves and Mary Jane shoes, transforming them into contemporary ensembles through her specific use of colour. Her hues ranged from mustards, mossy greens, navy and royal blues, sugary pinks and popping reds, all of which were used to complement and contrast with one another. To ensure that the collection wasn’t too sickly sweet, Prada kept the models’ hair severe and their expressions blank and muted. As a result, the collection retains a sense of polish, with all the pieces looking instantly wearable.
This season, Gucci saw former head of accessories Alessandro Michele create his first collection as creative director of the fashion house. Gucci is one of the oldest Italian design houses, having been founded in 1921, and is one of the most popular go-to shows in the Milan Fashion Week calendar. Needless to stay, stepping into those shoes must have been daunting for Michele, and we might have expected a collection that bubbled and fizzed with nervous excitement. His first collection at the helm, however, was sensuously relaxed and clean, keeping lines laidback but leaving traces of high-fashion finishing, with chic pussybow blouses, sheer shirts, calf-length skirts and rich artistic prints. The collection is undoubtedly sophisticated; however, it doesn’t verge on being high-maintenance. On the contrary, the success of the collection lies in traditionally polished looks being deconstructed for a lighter and more youthful look.
4) Emilio Pucci
5) Emporio Armani
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