Day 4, Milan Fashion Week
The first show on my schedule for day 4 of Milan is Stella Jean. I hadn’t requested a ticket but when friends and colleagues raved about this up-and-coming Haitian-Italian designer, I was happy to use the invitation which arrived at my hotel. She works with the International Trade Center to acquire handwoven fabrics from Burkina Faso for the quirky, Alice-in-Wonderland-like collection. For spring, Jean was inspired by “trompe l’oeil cultural exploration” and deftly mixes eras and cultures theoretically but also on the body.
Jil Sander was a study in minimalism, with a focus on lightweight coats and perfect day dresses. There were, as at almost every show so far, some cropped tops, but her’s were paired with brogues and chunky platform shoes, cropped trousers and Bermuda shorts. The overall colour palette is delightfully muted, contrasting gently with the playful prints in the collection. The show notes, this time, are presented as a poem, with the opening lines: “Through the looking glass, back to the material world. Declaration of purity, moving, gazing, craving transcendence.”
The day’s Roberto Cavalli show didn’t present to me anything unexpected, but I did clearly see the craftsmanship and luxe touches that make the brand perennially popular. There are day and night options for the sexy, confident woman, from studded jeans to caftans and lavishly embroidered gowns.
The Aquilano.Rimondi show was inspired by a diverse number of things, including the Polynesian sky (and the art of Gauguin) and “the attraction of opposites.” There were a number of crop tops, mostly paired with lush silk skirts in jewel tones, but overall the look is feminine and quite pretty (but not precious). My favourite pieces toyed with volume, billowed out and cinched in to create interest.
I went to see Tod’s runway collection up close (this was the brand’s first time on the catwalk), and realized that their beautiful new creative director, Alessandra, was the chic woman one table over whose luscious leather skirt I coveted at dinner the other night! That skirt? A variation of one from the runway collection. A good sign, indeed. The accessories are as strong as ever, but it was great to see how Alessandra’s translation of Tod’s heritage into modern, wearable looks. I have high hopes for this one!