It’s another gorgeous sunny day – the perfect day to go for a long walk around Milan’s golden triangle of designer shopping. The streets around Via Monte Napoleone (Gesu, Della Spiga, Verri) are packed with the fashion world’s best labels – from Brit favourites Burberry and Alexander McQueen to Italian classics including Gucci, Versace and Prada. There’s no shortage of shoppers.
My first big show today is Just Cavalli, the junior line at Roberto Cavalli. Reporters are crowded around him when I arrive. He’s sitting at the opening of the runway answering questions. The only other designer I’ve seen do that in advance of a show is Karl Lagerfeld.
Just Cavalli opens to the tune of “Sugar Daddy” – just what young women will need if they want these cropped long-haired fur and shearling jackets. The skirts are so short that most come with metallic tights or patterned stovepipe jeans. Finish with ruffled blouses and lots of necklaces and sugar baby is ready to roll.
D&G brought my recent Olympic experience to mind. Natasha Poly opened the show in a super sleek bodysuit in a cranberry hued Nordic style knit. That set the pace for a fresh lively show of Nordic inspired jumpers, jumpsuits, strapless full-skirted dresses and even fur bloomers! All perfect pieces to celebrate a gold medal win at the chalet.
Clever spins on fur is Karl Lagerfeld’s signature at Fendi. Many of the best were in the form of lining peeking out from swingy toppers. Fur is already shaping up to be a big look next fall. There are so many good looking faux versions that I expect this to be huge. An 80s spin on Fendi showed up with calf-length skirts, A-line silhouettes and full sleeves in warm autumnal hues.
Next I whipped over to Hogan where I really loved the updated footwear – shredded lace on leather work boots and sequinned ‘sock’ type extensions with smart garter-like buckles.
I skipped lunch so ready to eat my sleeve! At a little cafe that’s packed with fashion folk – from Tim Blanks to Scott Schuman and Garance Dore. The pasta tastes freeze-dried but I need the fuel. Still three more stops.
Waiting for the Prada show to begin. The place is packed – this is Milan’s hottest ticket. Muiccia always twists fashion in peculiar ways. At first glance, the designs can look tacky or just plain bad taste – colours can be sour, fabrics heavy and shapes odd, such as an awkward hem length. Yet once the overall effect sinks in, I realize that she’s done it again – advanced fashion in a smart mature manner. She always switches gears and sets the path that others follow.
I LOVED the Prada collection – made me think of what Mad Men‘s Betty Draper would wear if she was dressing today. Muiccia abandoned last season’s beachy digital prints for tweeds, upholstery type prints and cable knits in sleek fitted silhouettes. Dresses had bust detail – through ruffles or fluted pleats – skirts were to the knee – and double breasted fitted jackets were cut in patent leather with double collars. A quilted collar layered over a fur version. Shades included camel (love the short topper), red (a cable knit suit) and shades of blue. Lots of patent in skirts, jackets and accessories. And of course the accessories were key: high heel pointy toe stilettos (no platforms) and loafers, cable knit kneesocks and headbands, patent satchels. I’m guessing about 60 models including three Victoria Secret Angels – former FLARE cover girl Miranda Kerr, Alessandra, Doutzen. Huge show. So much to think about and absorb. Brilliant show!