Women’s Milan Fashion Week Report SS20
CEO Holli Rogers and buying director Ida Petersson touch down in warmer climes to check out next season’s Italian offering. ‘The most convincing trend is the feeling of a refresh, a complete palette cleanser and the focus on timeless, wearable fashion so beautifully presented by Prada, Bottega Veneta and Jil Sander,’ describes Ida of the Milanese mood. Below we break down the highlights of the week (including that J.Lo Versace moment!)
4pm: First stop: Prada. Glossy, pastel hand-tiled flooring lends the Fondazione an undeniably sophisticated air, the perfect backdrop for the elegant collection Miuccia Prada has in store for her audience. Signifying a return to Prada essentialism, Danish supermodel Freja Beha Erichsen opened the show in a simple fine knit, making a strong statement about Miuccia’s current fashion mood. Backstage, the designer acknowledged the need for fashion to move in a more conscious direction, something that could be seen in her focus on embracing Prada’s signature staples, which implied the message of buying with longevity in mind. For the Pradaphiles among us (and those yet to be converted), she offered her trademark unusual fabrications, distinctive prints, great jackets, and, as always, a healthy dose of subtle Prada subversion.
8pm: Hosted within Milan’s legendary art school ‘Accademia di Brera’, Ida describes the setting for Jil Sander as “eerily beautiful”. Husband-and-wife duo Luke and Lucie Meier prove that opposites do indeed attract, pairing crisp, clean shirting with soft silk and adorning pared-back tailoring with maximalist prints. Representing the couple’s opposing astrological signs, Pisces and Virgo, the collection also features fish motifs alongside Virgin prints. The palette was the house’s usual understated and timeless affair, peppered with a marble design inspired by ‘60s psychedelia that saw the couple dabbling in prints for the first time. The team’s favourite pieces? The natural raffia detailing that’s heading straight to the top of our summer wishlist.
12.30pm: In need of a little vitamin D? Silvia Venturini Fendi’s ‘solar mood’ will help you get your fix. A soundtrack of Let The Sunshine In plays as Kendall Jenner, Mona Tougaard and co. emerge in front of a giant sun installation, evoking a nostalgia for the carefree days of summer. This is the creative director’s first solo outing since the loss of Karl Lagerfeld, and marks a new beginning for the brand. Hues are natural, from burnt oranges to bright yellows and leafy greens, with ‘70s style florals reimagined throughout on sheer, high-shine and quilted fabrications.
3pm: Stepping into a Chinese restaurant in Milan, Attico’s audience are treated to a sea of chaise longues, tropical blooms, lanterns and performers; the brand’s very own speakeasy, inspired by the illicit, romantic spaces designer Giorgia Tordini witnessed in New York. Their new season protagonist enters; an office-bound working girl who’s dressed for business in candy-coloured power suiting and strong, statement shoulders. For evening, she transforms into a night owl, swapping sharp tailoring for zebra-striped boots that match her trousers, plumes of feathers, flapper-esque ombré crystal fringing and some oversized sunnies. This is high-octane Italian glamour just how we like it.
6.30pm: The show everyone’s been waiting for - the next chapter of Daniel Lee’s Bottega Veneta story, a tale which has the fashion world on tenterhooks. Arriving at the Via Senato show space, it’s clear who we’re here to see, with the house’s signature intrecciato weave displayed within a perspex runway encasement. For his captive audience, Lee delivers a collection of bodycon knits, knee-length shorts, tailored jackets and supersized intrecciato hobo bags, continuing his vision of immensely covetable modern luxury with a focus on accessories. Ida’s must-have of the season? Those quilted mules and pumps are heading straight to the top of her buying list.
9am: Sheets of plastic cover the walls of Carolina Castiglioni’s Milanese showroom, ensuring that all our focus is on the clothes. Since launching her label just three seasons ago, Plan C has effortlessly garnered itself a loyal following thanks to Carolina’s penchant for artful touches and vintage utilitarian shapes. Expect plissé and fringing on feminine silhouettes; maxi jumpsuits and organza tiered dresses imprinted with florals and military-inspired belted jackets in Japanese canvas.
8pm: Three words for Versace’s SS20 show? Sassy, show-stopping sexiness. LBDs are sleek, skin-tight and paired with gladiator sandals; two-pieces nod to Gianni’s original short tailoring of the early ’90s; and the house’s favourite tropical prints are presented on mesh fabrications. Then Love Don’t Cost A Thing plays and we hear JLo’s voice asking Google to show images of her iconic Grammys jungle dress (legend has it that so many people searched for the dress online that the traffic led Google to create its image search). “Now show me the real thing!” says Donatella, and out struts JLo herself, reminding us what an important part of pop culture Versace actually is (not to mention being the move that won fashion week).
9.30am: The starting point for creative director Paul Andrew’s SS20 Salvatore Ferragamo show was a photo of him and his brother as children on holiday in Italy during the ‘80s. This resulted in a range of pieces that embodies fun and sun-drenched innocence, updated with a modern approach; a vision described by the brand as a ‘hymn of joyful living’. The devil is in the construction details this season, as dresses come bubble-skirted, sweaters are backless and coats are light, hitting refresh on your summer cover-up collection. We’ll be wearing the striped crocheted tank dress with an accordion clutch all season long.
4pm: On entering the Gucci show, anticipation is running high to see what creative director Alessandro Michele has in store for us this season. Shrouded in red light, the cathedral-like airport space is lined with plastic seating (recycled of course, as part of the brand’s new carbon neutral initiatives). As the show begins, the lights go out and 21 models in straitjackets slowly walk across a travelator-esque runway, a clinical opening performance which is then followed by the show’s sexy second half. As walkways reverse, Gucci’s girls emerge holding S&M-esque riding crops in colour-blocked tailoring labelled with Gucci Orgasmique or Gucci Eterotopia; scoop-neck leotards complementing high-slit midis and gothic vinyl chokers. Kink is the order of the day, whilst Michele’s usual exuberant design details and eccentricities seem somewhat pared back this season, ushering in a more restrained, but equally desirable, Gucci attitude.