Milan always delivers the goods in its typical style. Italian houses that show collections here are often unapologetically feminine and sexy. For spring 2020 the proposed looks are as varied as the women who wear them. But one thing that unites them is the unforgettable styles that went down the runways.
This season, the main inspirations for Max Mara’s creative director, Ian Griffiths were the Killing Eve women. He took the wardrobe of a female spy for his inspiration, opening with a troupe of Villanelle lookalikes in three-piece tailoring, charcoal grey and Prince of Wales check. It was followed up with a classic spy trench coat, strap and pocket-detailing taken from gun holsters – which came in pastel hues.
In an outdoor show at Rotonda della Besana, the ’80s were alive again as Paul Andrew, the creative director of Salvatore Ferragamo presented a pared-down version of the style of a decade all about excess and getting noticed. There are indeed typical cues of that era, such as puffed trousers, statement sleeves, and pastel colors that dialogue with bolder shades like electric blue. But all of these eccentricities blend into a very contemporary recipe of elegance.
Alessandro Michele had been thinking about “humanity and uniforms” for this collection, which was the starting point for the first 21 looks presented on a moving conveyor belt, featuring a take on straitjackets. Michele accounted for the item’s inclusion, saying it is “the highest type of uniform”. Gucci said these initial pieces would not be for sale, but they will be what this 100-exit catwalk extravaganza is remembered for.
Giorgio Armani was in full flow with a palette of soft tones: languid and wonderfully slouchy crumpled velvet suiting showcased the designer at his best. Sitting alongside the louche tailoring were looks that experimented with proportion and volume: a tulle trapeze dress layered over cropped flares, generous dresses worn with big bows tied at the neck or worn with loose-tailored jackets. The finale closed with silvery crystal evening wear which sparkled under the spotlights.
The set for Jeremy Scott’s Moschino show seemed to suggest that this collection would be a tamer outing compared with last season’s, for which he built a revolving gameshow. What the simple catwalk did was inject an appreciation of his clothes. Yes, there was the bombastic – models carried palettes and guitars, and one even became a frame in this art-masters themed show. But there were also plenty of beautifully made items that – dare we say it – would work every day.
Unless you don’t own a smartphone, you will be well aware that J-Lo and Donatella Versace broke the internet with a fashion moment at the Versace show. For the show finale, images of the jungle-print dress, (a recurring theme throughout the collection) worn by J-Lo at the 2000 Grammy awards, appeared on the screens that wrapped around the venue. Then J-Lo walked in a 2019 remake of the dress. The model Amber Valetta who wore the original on the catwalk in 1999 also walked in this collection in a figure-hugging, slashed-to-the-thigh black dress.
With Karl Lagerfeld no longer at the helm, Fendi is a brand rebuilding for a new era. Silvia Venturini Fendi, who worked with the designer, showed a collection that had a glowing sun as its backdrop. The collection mirrored the vibe. Padded coats, wrap dresses, terry toweling and long belted suede coats paid homage to the 70s – reflection is a popular theme this season – while prints took on mixed pastel and mustard shades.
Boss’ debut at Milan Fashion Week showed highly wearable, real clothes that weren’t boring. In fact, the German brand’s runway outing was a very good one, with effortless elegance conveyed through clean, modern, urban clothes. Various shades of blue came together on a color-blocked trench coat, while a slightly baggy leather blazer was paired with a crochet column skirt embellished with nautical stripes.
This collection was a “focus on process and clarity,” as described in the show notes. “This collection plays with proportion, soft structure cutting through tension and technique with a clean new ease.” The color palette was overall calm and toned-down, with looks crafted in approachable black and brown hues with pops of tapioca and a range of blues in the mix. Exceptions included a pair of gold and saturated orange party dresses that punctuated the sea of neutrals they were sandwiched between.