Milan Fashion Week: Tod’s triumphs, Missoni was mass with no class
Friday morning in Milan was all about two labels built on Italian savoir-faire – Tod’s and Missoni, but where the former staged its best ready-to-wear collection to date; the latter utterly lost its way under a new creative director.
Cool and very credible at Tod’s
Technical fabrics can be tricky for most designers, though not it seems for Walter Chiapponi, who presented an cool and highly credible collection for Tod’s on a sunny Friday morning in Milan.
Chiapponi harnessed bubble fabrics, polyamides and advanced nylons along with the house’s classy leathers, yet somehow nothing looked artificial or stiff.
The mood was spruce, the length short, the clothes both practical and polished. Like his dove-gray padded nylon dress with scalloped neckline; treated cotton matelassé parkas and sleeveless cocktails, or the great jute coat dress with diagonal pockets.
Plus, Chiapponi refreshed the house’s whole approach to leather. From the dashing ecru leather fencing jacket with sleeves finished in Tod’s signature gommino rubber studded leather, to the sculpted black deerskin bustier cocktail with giant 'T' on the back.
Plenty of pizzazz too, like the brilliant beige paneled crochet dress finished with hundreds of dangling strands or the great bubble-wrap windcheaters, micro jerkins and parkas, like the one worn by Gigi Hadid as she finished the show.
Everything anchored by very natty techy nylon boxing boots; dense crepe-soled platforms with 'T Timeless' buckles; or dramatic new power sandals with oversized gommino studs.
Pre-show, the managing director Carlo Alberto Berretta, appointed in February, greeted editors and stars in a great beige double-breasted suit. When a guest asked the name of his quality tailor, Berretta was able to respond, “I’m dressed head to toe in Tod’s.”
Staged to the soaring vocals of Rosalia, with the audience perched on white cylinder stools, the show ended with the entire cast marching out of the Padiglione D’Arte Contemporanea into a sunny garden to extended applause.
Tod’s has been through several designers ever since patron and principal shareholder Diego della Valle decided to hire a full time designer, from Derek Lam to Alessandra Facchinetti to an in-house team before Chiapponi was appointed two years ago.
And previously Tod’s collections have been quite frankly hit or miss. However, today’s collection by Chiapponi was a definite winner. In a word, the most imaginative and easily the most coherent runway collection by Tod’s so far.
Missoni: Lots of mass and not much class
A significant change of gears at Missoni but not really in the right direction.
What was once an earthy family-owned craft-driven knitwear label was made to look like a pushy high street label in the first show since Angela Missoni relinquished design control.
After the founding family sold a blocking minority stake in the house to investment group FSI, the new owners didn’t take long to wield their axes. First Angela’s daughter Margherita departed, and then Alberto Caliri was installed as designer. Nonetheless, Angela and her mum Rosita, who founded the house back in 1953, sat in the front row.
This was Caliri’s first runway show, with the evident brief of injecting more sex appeal into the brand. The result however felt very, very forced.
From the simply diagonal chenille cocktails with unravelling hem to the micro crochet bikinis, it was all a tad vulgar. When Caliri decided to color co-ordinate, the result was silvery blue gown with a far too revealing cut all the way down the back, the better to reveal matching knickers.
As for the brash brown and black Missoni logo looks – in particular a belt-like bra that the model clearly hated wearing – well, the less said the better.
The omens seemed inauspicious before the show began in a huge dank disused factory in the northern outskirts of Milan. This morning show began an hour late, during which time guests were forced to sit through a soundtrack that sounded like a biblical flood. The audience were so keen to leave, scores had already departed even before the models had exited the factory.
Poor manners, given the traditionally observed rule that no one departs before the designer takes his bow. But sadly understandable given this collection.
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