On the Runway

Milan Fashion Week: Lush Eclecticism at Etro; Chic Architecture at Ferré

After Jimmy Choo, we speed over to a classic Milan cinema to see Mark Fast’s second collection for Pinko. The major brand collaborated with the charming Winnipegger on a small collection of knit dresses and a leather jacket. Mark’s become a global force in a very short period of time: He’s just shown his signature collection in London, worked with Pinko in Milan, is going to Paris next week for sales appointments, and will then have his leathers made by Danier in Toronto. Proud of him – sweet guy.

Next stop is Etro, a long drive across Milan, to see their rich collection of printed silks and furs. Antique carpets, tapestries and embroideries in aged burnt hues are the starting point. Add in technical fabrics (like a shiny iridescent printed Lurex) for high gloss contrasts and menswear wools, and you’ve got a lush eclectic mix. Think a tailored wool topper with metallic sleeves and shaggy collar with a print blouse underneath. Stunning. The models hair featured tiny braids with a knot or short pony.

It’s always a zoo getting out of Etro, especially because some clown always tries to whip the print pillow out from under you. I leave with mine, and we’re off to Gianfranco Ferré.

Editors are buzzing over John Galliano’s alleged arrest for “verbal assault” in Paris. No one has much news but that doesn’t stop imaginations from running wild. Someone even says that his next Dior collection will likely be inspired by prison garb!

Over at Ferré, buzz is about the direction and financial health of this rich Italian label that was recently sold to a Saudi Arabian company. Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi (who also design their own terrific collection) are behind the label that has struggled since its namesake passed away. The duo do a terrific job of keeping the collection chic and architectural as per Ferré’s original vision while continuing to move it forward. Shaggy fur and metallic Lurex, two materials I’ve seen all week in Milan, show up here, the former on the top half of a belted jacket and coats, the latter in beaded gowns perfect for a red carpet.

As I dash out of Ferré, the fashion paparazzi go into a frenzy. Not for me, of course! I don’t think my black Lida Baday coat and gold Chanel boots would drive them nuts. Ha! It’s Anna Dello Russo dressed head-to-toe in orange and black monkey stripes from Prada’s spring collection. A head-turning look no doubt but I’d be curious to see her own personal style versus just pulling a look off the runway.

A quick break and then on to Blumarine.