On the Runway

Milan Fashion Week: Day 5 With Marni, Tod's and Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer ’11; Photo by Anthea Simms

Marni Spring/Summer ’11; Photo by Anthea Simms

The people watching at some fashion week shows is almost as interesting as the shows themselves. This rings true  at Marni where die hard fans of the label are always decked out in the quirky cool clothes, interpreted in a real woman way. The Marni woman is one who likes to have fun with fashion and is less concerned with trend lists than she is with character driven clothes. This season, the main character at Marni was an athletic eccentric – think elements of cycling and scuba. There were literal translations like scuba tops, biker shorts and tight leather caps. But the inspiration also came through in the circle perforated leather, colour blocking, mesh panelled tops and energized stripes and surf-y florals.  

The colourful sunglasses (which are a runway staple this season), chunky necklaces and flat, fringe front sandals were accessory stand out.

Yesterday, I was transported in to Tilda Swinton’s movie, I Am Love. Tod’s S/S’11 preview was held at the beautiful Villa Necchi, where Tilda and her chic Milanese family lived and had their grand dinner parties. I could have sat by the pool all afternoon long, but I had work to do!  Previewing the gorgeous supple leather Tod’s bags – my favourite was called “The Shirt Bag” because it folds up as easily as a shirt, perfect for travelling and glamorous in it’s faux snake skin. And of course the classic driving moccasins – which come in any colour you could possibly dream of.

What’s cool about a Dolce & Gabbana show, besides they glamour quotient – Kylie Minogue and Naomi Campbell sat front row – are the front of house screens that show guests all of the backstage prep happening as we’re taking our seats. Hair and makeup touch ups, Stefano or Domenico styling and fussing the models, backstage paps taking pics.

Even cooler of course are the clothes. Anyone getting married this spring and looking for an alternative dress, or your after party outfit, or even sexy lingerie, need look no further than Dolce & Gabbana’s glorious collection. In fact, they were inspired by a young bride-to-be. That bride would be Sicilian of course – the designers played a slide show of words like Mediterraneo, Bianca, Sicily and past iconic campaign images as inspiration. It was an almost all white collection, but with this being a Dolce & Gabbana show of course, there were touches of leopard and black. Authentic and beautiful, the fabrics that looked similar to what you would fine in a Southern Italian grandmother’s home – sheer linens, lace, eyelet, hand-embroidered cottons.  The silhouettes were seductive but innocent at the same time. Riffing off some of the same shapes we saw last season, waist cinching dresses, lingerie inspired bloomers, bras and slip, cropped jackets and of course, the iconic bustier slip dress, that sucks any woman in and makes her look like a million bucks. There were longer lengths in skirts and dresses, some sheer with delicate embroidery or appliqués. The finale sparkled, literally, with a bunch of looks dazzled with fine crystals.