Milan Fashion Week Day 4
Some very cool things happened today including the first show designed by Jil Sander in eight years, a Fendi collection that used more leather than fur, and a Pucci collection with minimal prints… so, to answer the answer that is no doubt on your mind, “yes, hell has frozen over.” Bottega Veneta also showed today with a collection based on dresses from the 40’s but with slightly updated silhouettes and technologies including studding, seam finishing, and laser cuts.
Thomas Maier surrounded himself with reinventing the dress and did so impossibly well. His collection was 99% dresses making it a difficult buy for retailers, but allowing his customer to find that perfect dress for her. He reshaped the shoulders, nipped in the waist and hem so the whole piece hugs the body graciously while sitting above the knee. There is the ideal dress covered in field flowers and made from a bias cut silk in burgundy that would be appropriate for meeting the parents or the first day on the job while the heavily embellished dress in burnt orange and apricot would be fit for accepting an Emmy Award.
The Jil Sander line was taken over once again by Jil Sander who took an eight year leave and is now back in the business. Now… I have to be honest, I have always found the hyper clean line a bit of a mystery. I remember sitting on the edge of my bed as a style neophyte staring for hours at the Jil Sander ads that were taped to my walls with curious fascination. regardless of how long I gazed, my understanding of the simple linear pieces was all but lost except for the fact that now if a piece from a Sander collection is presented to me on the street I can tell immediately that it is one of hers. The minimalist element, the colors, the thick expensive materials, it all gets precisely mended together and marketed to aesthetes and people of a similar mentality.
The words fast fashion don’t apply to the Jil Sander brand and therefore the line is celebrated and worn by those who live their lives by those same guidelines. As you can probably tell from my description of the line and the people who wear it, I don’t own a single piece of Jil Sander but not because it isn’t attractive. I simply always lean more towards an ornate line with bells and whistles or a greater level of detail. The Emilio Pucci Spring 2013 collection is a good example of what I mean by this.
Peter Dundas appeared strong and confident after the showing of the historical collection today in Milan. The detail in the pieces was way outside the regular Pucci pieces as detailed lace, and sheer silks were combined on elegant dresses for day and evening. The daywear was almost more fine-crafted than the splendidly draped evening gowns. The first half of the collection was all white and incorporated elements of funky tattoos by embroidering the sleeves and legs of pants, jackets and tops with street worthy designs of dragons and florals.
Speaking of designs, the Fendi collection took branding to a whole new level with their interlocking F F logo plastered on handbags, outerwear, and dresses. At times, the branding can get a bit overwhelming on some of the more traditional Italian brands like Versace and today Fendi. Having elements of iconography are so important but letting those take over your line are a step in the wrong direction. I hope the brand uses more discretion in the future or risk looking tacky.
That being said the line used some fresh new silhouettes, some great fabrics that are certainly cutting edge like fringed cotton, and multicolored radzimir. The line had elements of cubism to it that incorporated the use of a splendid palatte consisting of oranges, browns, and blues on a sea of white and black. Now Fendi is always in hot water for their use of furs in the collections and perhaps the fight is getting tiresome? This season, the use of furs has dramatically decreased and in place is a jumble of leathers and some feathers. Of course it wouldn’t be Fendi if fur was taken out completely so their were a few pieces with the soft fur but they were few and far between.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s shows which will include Giorgio Armani, Ferragamo, Dolce and Gabbana, and Marni.