Lakshmi Sreedhar walks us through the five most memorable moments of Milan fashion week. Her detailed account allows you to relive all the action as if you were there - including the shocking moment when one of Gucci’s models made a show of her own.
With Paris underway, here are the top 5 highlights of MFW last week and my favourite moments:
Hands-down the most talked-about moment from Milan was the green dress worn by JLo for Versace. The designer Donatella Versace clearly loved the jungle-themed dress Jennifer Lopez wore to the 2000 Grammys, so much that she decided to recreate this year at Milan’s Versace show. The show opened with a chic black dress and then various shades of green print, black and the occasional denim were seen on the runway.
One of my personal favourites in the collection featured the late Gianni Versace’s name in cursive across a simple, green-white kind of block printed jumper with puffed shoulders, paired with a pitch-black pencil skirt. In a similar fashion was a magenta-white hoodie with the legendary designer’s name across the model’s apparel, paired with contemporary black high-waist shorts. It was truly très à la mode.
Anyway, towards the end of the show, which featured shades of green palm print synonymous with the JLo dress, Versace's voice came over the sound system: "OK Google, now show me the real jungle dress." On cue, JLo strutted on the runway in the latest version of the jungle dress, causing a crazy social meltdown for anybody who sees their phone. The 50-year old singer looked gorgeous and surreal in the Versace dress.
2. M Missoni
The new creative director of M Missoni, Margherita Missoni did not disappoint when she showcased her collection on one of the most cultural institutions: a tram through Milan with new models getting on at every stop wearing riot classic Missoni prints. She enlisted street-styles and gypsy artisanal looks with models of all ages, sexes and shapes to portray her collection, which took inspiration from the Missoni archive. As she said, it was, authorised appropriation, and it merged offcuts, prints and never-seen-before designs to make something that speaks Missoni for the modern man and woman. Her collection featured several casual, floral prints with a bohemian edge.
Meanwhile, her mother, Missoni creative director Angela Missoni, took over the Bagni Misteriosi open-air swimming pool.
Even without Karl Lagerfeld, the show must run. Fendi, gearing its forces to face the new era without the late designer, embraced the concept of ‘reflection’ as its theme. Silvia Venturini Fendi, who worked with the late designer closely, showcased her first solo ready-to-wear collection with a glowing sun as its backdrop. Mirroring the giant installation, the runway saw models in padded coats, suede coats, wrapped dresses and terry towelling as a tribute to the 70s era. The prints were mustard or pastel shades which synchronously integrated with the relaxing backdrop.
In fact, even Prada’s collection this year had a 70s theme with a “invest once and get a non-disposable wardrobe” motto.
Moschino’s creative director, Jeremy Scott is apparently a huge Picasso fan, as his collection was an indulgence of artful brushstrokes and paintings. With models Irina Shayk, sisters Bella & Gigi Hadid and Kaia Gerber walking on the ramp, the collection showcased wedding veils, models carrying palettes and guitars in this art-master themed show. My favourite was a chic black suit with Matisse embroidery. The finale saw the model Cara Taylor in a giant gilt frame- guess Scott couldn’t resist the urge to make a statement.
Alessandro Michele was bound to be flabbergasted at the turn of events during the Gucci show, for reasons he did not predict. Gucci’s show on Sunday night was hypnagogic, opening with models walking down a conveyer belt in white straitjackets which according to the designer were "the most extreme version of a uniform dictated by society and those who control it."
However, one of the models, Ayesha Tan Jones, clearly disagreed, as in an unplanned move, she held her hands up in the runway to reveal a note, “Mental health is not fashion.” written on her palms. She continued her protest against Gucci’s show on Instagram by posting videos accompanied by a statement that read: “As an artist and model who has experienced my own struggles with mental health, as well as family members and loved ones who have been affected by depression, anxiety, bipolar and schizophrenia, is hurtful and insensitive for a major fashion house such as Gucci to use this imagery as a concept for a fleeting fashion moment.” It added: “It is in bad taste for Gucci to use the imagery of strait jackets and outfits alluding to mental patients, while being rolled out on a conveyor belt as if a piece of factory meat. “Presenting these struggles as props for selling clothes in today’s capitalist climate is vulgar, unimaginative and offensive to the millions of people around the world affected by these issues.”
Gucci released a statement confirming that the uniforms and straitjackets “were a statement for the fashion show and will not be sold”.
And those were the top five collections from Milan. On to Paris next!