On the Runway

Milan Fashion Week: Day 4 With Jil Sander, Just Cavalli, Max Mara and Pucci

Pucci Spring/Summer ’11; Photo by Anthea Simms

Jil Sander Spring/Summer ’11; Photo by Anthea Simms

One of my favourite shows of the week, this Jil Sander collection was an exhilarating breath of fresh air. Raf Simons combined the tradition of couture shapes – think original Balenciaga – with the modern brightness of fluorescent colours. Interesting colour combos like orange, pink, red and unexpected layering – skirts over pants, bubble aprons over dresses, kept the look graphic. Even a painterly floral looked streamlined.

Like real life, models carried nylon totes and top handle bags. Sporty elements like anoraks and white t-shirts contrasted beautifully with the floor length dresses and skirts. Attention to every last detail, even the shoes had fluorescent orange soles.

At the totally opposite side of the style spectrum, Just Cavalli lived up to it’s reputation of more is more. A cornucopia of leopard print, florals, embellishment  and denim came walking down the runway – sometimes all in one outfit. Python, pearls, candy metallics and snakeskin hats, all added glamourous touches to washed denim.

While most lines are taking a nostalgic trip to the seventies, Max Mara was about minimal tailoring and athletic chic. Trenches, cabans and suits looked fresh in new proportions and colour combos. There was a lot of tan and white with pops of colour – very on trend this season. Jackets and tops had cut out backs and the body forming stretchy dresses and tops and tight cropped pants felt slick and utilitarian. Horizontal stripes – another big message in Milan – had a nautical feel. The colourful accessories were just the right touch for this neutral collection.

A location can really add to a collection and sometimes it’s just as fun to discover these hidden gems as it is to see the clothes. Ancient palaces, modern museums, romantic gardens – even rooftop pools! Luckily at Pucci, the clothes were just as mesmerising as the stately palace where models walked through connecting rooms with gilded ceilings and gigantic chandeliers. And Kylie Minogue and Jada Pinkett-Smith sat front row to take it all in. It was a 70’s story at Pucci where Peter Dundas combined the houses heritage prints with his modern sexiness. Flared pants, Pucci prints, long ruffle front chiffon dresses, snake skin,  laced leather jackets, suede tunic tops, fringe and cut out dresses were topped off with the iconic Pucci print scarves worn bandanna style across the forehead. Killer thigh high lace up python open toe boots and turquoise cross pendant necklaces rounded out the accessories.