Photo by Anthea Simms

Photo by Anthea Simms

Photo by Anthea Simms

Today is the last day of Milan’s four day Fashion “Week”. What a whirlwind. It really needs to be five days for a more sane pace. I’ve missed shows because there simply hasn’t been time to get from one venue to the next across town.

This morning’s show was one of my favourites – Marni. I liken Marni to Prada. Consuelo is like Muiccia’s hipper art school cousin who takes more risks. At first glance, the silhouettes seem awkward, and the colours off-putting but at closer look, the carefully crafted details – such as embellishments, curved peplums and necklaces – become apparent. For Fall, the collection highlighted shorts, flippy skirts, and fur sleeveless jackets in shades of chocolate, salmon, black and petrol. Other than a weird striped pattern and the crafty clunky footwear, I loved it. One thing I’m fed up with though is raw edge hems. It seems a very sloppy way to finish expensive clothes.

Prada’s spring collection featured ragged hems but fall was much more sophisticated and polished. I had a tour of the fall collection – it’s getting mixed reviews but it’s one of my favourites in Milan this season. I’ll be blogging about it – along with great pix – in a future weekly blog.

Next stop – Dolce & Gabbana. Servers bring by trays of salami and parmesan – lunch! Hooray! Video screens on the ceiling give us a birds-eye view of what’s going on backstage and outside. We’re watching the designers do their final touches. A video then shows the making of the collection – how a jacket is tailored on a fit model. It continues to play as the models come out. The soundtrack is Josh Groban singing “Come What May”. It gets very emotional as the collection appears to be a “greatest hits” of the house: fabrics such as satin charmeuse, lace, velvet, and lush floral patterns. The show opens and closes with a full range of expertly tailored black jackets. In between is corsets, bustiers, shift dresses, sweaters and sweet suits.

Not much time to absorb it all as we’re off to the next show by Roberto Cavalli. Lindsay Lohan’s name is on one of the seats so it’s going to be mayhem if she shows up. She does but not before Courtney Love has befuddled the photographers in a green feathered headdress. Several tell me she just babbled as she posed. Cavalli himself was jumping up and preening alongwith his front row stars. Whatever.

While most of Milan is paring back and showing more streamlined wearable (and safe) collections, Roberto Cavalli ramps it up with an over-the-top boho hippie spectacular of fringe, embroidery and fur. Embellished shearlings top full drop crotch trousers while fur jackets are paired with flowing goddess dresses. Fur bags and fox fur tail accessories turn up the volume. The collection feels dated but is saved by its soft colour palette.

Time for a break – and food. I haven’t had a bite since breakfast. 


Headed over to the Versace Teatro to catch the Versus presentation. I was looking forward to seeing the less expensive Versace-house collection but barely saw any of the pieces above the waist. The presentation was a bit of a gong show – crowded and disorganized – so very disappointing. I did like the bright colours – red and turquoise, plus a warm grape – but didn’t see much beyond straps and pleats.

Next, I caught a ride with Barb and Lewis from Holt Renfrew over to see Aquilano Rimondi, the duo who also design Ferre. In contrast to Ferre’s strong architectural shapes, the pair’s own collection was softer and prettier – more Parisian in feeling than Italian sportswear. I wasn’t keen on the raw-edge tweed suits but loved the bow-waisted biscuit-coloured sheath dresses and the feather-fringed beaded evening coat – very couture.

So that’s a wrap. Milan’s Fashion “Week” was reduced to a mere four days. Too much packed in to properly absorb – and little time to visit the city’s key accessory showrooms. I’ll put together my Top 10 list for tomorrow.

Elizabeth Cabral, FLARE‘s Fashion Director, will be bringing you all of the news from Paris Fashion Week starting later this week.