Milan, an ode to beauty by Fendi and Antonio Marras
Milan Fashion Week kicked off on Wednesday with an intense day. From the outset, designers set the bar very high with highly sought-after and well-balanced AW23 collections, taking women's ready-to-wear into an ever more contemporary world, from Fendi to Antonio Marras to Daniela Gregis and Iceberg.
Masculin/feminin pairing at Fendi
From sky blue to passion red, Kim Jones rethought the Fendi style by subtlety playing on masculine/feminine pairing. Through monochrome looks, he started with the great classics of menswear, such as the three-piece suit in grey flannel, the white or blue banker's shirt, the polo shirt or the cardigan, reinterpreting them from top to bottom. It resulted in great elegance, which under a minimalist appearance was very refined, punctuated by unexpected details in its construction.
The neckline of the cardigan, for example, was detached to wrap itself around the neck in a strap. A suit waistcoat, worn as a tank top, was split as if it were falling down at the back. A jumpsuit with thin straps was placed over a men's shirt, transformed into a dress. A polo shirt in ultra-fine, transparent knit extended into a tight dress and a beige woollen sheet, thrown over the body, outlined a dress with bare shoulders.
Panels of fabric were added tone on tone to dresses or trousers, like veils, creating movement. Everything floated and fluctuated. In the same idea, pleated loincloths, aprons, skirts or kilts were layered over trousers and skirts, hung with metallic buckles.
Fendi imagined its woman revealing all her class and femininity through a series of endless tight-fitting dresses in knit, satin or leather in blocks of colour, sometimes asymmetrical or entirely unbuttoned along one leg.
Memories of Sardinia at Antonio Marras
Antonio Marras signed a rich collection with an intense breath of passion, where raw materials are transformed into sumptuous outfits. "I wanted to tell the story of the will and determination of people who put all their energy into making their dreams come true," confided the Sardinian designer, who sold his house to the Calzedonia group last September. To illustrate his point, he drew inspiration from the writer Grazia Deledda, who left her native Sardinia without finishing high school, as was required of young girls at the end of the 19th century, to conquer Rome and devote herself to literature, winning the Nobel Prize in 1927.
The designer plunged us into a forest setting covered in leaves, reminiscent of the landscapes of his island, with wolves howling in the moonlight. The shepherdesses wore hand-knitted jumpers and corsets in grey wools, as well as knitted dresses and hooded coats with long white hair. They gradually emancipated themselves, going from sporty looks with military or tracksuit jackets worn over leggings to elegant outfits with a retro touch. Like suits with jackets tightened at the waist, flowing painted silk dresses, pleated skirts sometimes flared with a Scottish kilt look.
As usual, Antonio Marras cut, mixed and recomposed surplus fabrics or what he recovered from old attics to recreate precious outfits, embellished with all sorts of decorations: sequins, crystals, embroidery, flocked tulle, fabric inserts such as the wolf mouths sticking out of the backs of jumpers or coats. For the grand finale, the girls walked in tulle patchwork dresses and majestic brocade queen dresses, under trees that suddenly lite up.
The delicacy of Daniela Gregis
Daniela Gregis enchanted the audience with her delicate and authentic style. A pioneer of upcycling, the designer chose the beautiful cloister of Sant Eustorgio for her show in the open air, unveiling a collection with a 1920s retro feel, with white ensembles made up of flared tops and shorts, loose-fitting trousers edged with rows of black braids. Wide crumpled cotton dresses fell to the ground. The fabric was sometimes embossed, sometimes over-stitched or decorated with colourful woolen tassels.
Thin overcoats in impalpable wool were slipped over silk dresses with abstract graphics. Everything was played out in black and white, with the wardrobe occasionally spiced up with bright red ensembles. The jumpers were an ode to handwork, each model made in a patchwork of different stitches and techniques.
Wearing ballerinas or clogs, the models polished their look with a fringed woolen headdress, dreadlocks style, mismatched gloves, a small magnifying glass as a pendant and pretty shopping net-like bags, knitted with multicoloured wool left from the end of the ball of yarn.
Total dark looks at Iceberg
For its return to the catwalks, which it had deserted since 2020, Iceberg wanted to make its mark. The Italian label, a symbol of the 1970s and owned by the Gilmar group, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, has based its entire AW23 collection on the theme of motorbikes, with a majority of full black looks in which leather has a prominent place.
Biker boots for him, stiletto heels or thigh-high boots for her. Leather was everywhere. It was used in ample jackets, perfectos reinforced at the lower back, long suede coats, pilot's suits, trousers pinched at the sides by metal clips, Bermuda shorts and even sweaters.
Knitwear, the brand's speciality, was also revisited in this rebellious spirit with pockets, inserts and leather details and was used to make sexy knitted stockings. The rest of the collection alternated between suits and tailoring with shirts and ties and more grungy silhouettes with long worsted wool cardigans, maxi jackets with long yeti hair, and jumpers that dragged on the floor worn as scarves.
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