Milan Fashion Week Spring 2016 RTW: Versace

Donatella Versace is breaking out of her niche for Spring 2016. Inspired by International Women’s Day, she did something that’s probably long overdue by now–taking her line, and the narrow set of glittering pop star fashionistas that it is normally geared towards (think Fergie), and making it accessible to everyone.


Not that the fierce overly short hemlines were missing, or tat there were plenty of near see through frocks that went marching past, only appropriate for the night of the town with bottle service, and the trashier side of the red carpet. But mixed in were pants! flats! Sensible jackets and loose-fitting dresses that would actually do well ona Size 8 as well as a Size 2.

Was it some sort of fashion miracle? Not completely. She still leaned heavily on the combat  theme that has been just about done to death after a decade of endless war, and in a way seems almost out of touch for a generation that would just like to stay home peaceably, thanks very much. But when some of the dresses and their oversized camo looked almost animal print and animalistic, it was hard to fault her the idea.

The full collection is below.

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Milan Fashion Week Spring 2016 RTW: Gucci

After the horror of my late 90s college years walking up and down runways in New York, it was a relief to see that in Milan, they are still insisting that the 70s are king. Over at Gucci, Alessandro Michele, who only just took the reigns this past summer, spun a rainbow of 1970s references, all reimagined out of their polyester past and into a 21st century styling.


Michele seemed a little worried that his first marquee woman’s collection for the brand would be seen as a nostalgia trip. He’s not trying for modern-day vintage–he wants to give the stylish fashionista the illusion she is wearing a 40-year-old garment without actually having to go to the thrift store and dig for that 40-year-old garment. Instead she can shop at her high-end luxury brand name store and come away looking like a trip down memory lane into history.

The result was a kaleidoscope of rainbow color, mixed with a historical plethora of cuts, all of which felt both very Italian, while looking as if they were ready to groove down the street in a world where personal cell phones hadn’t been invented yet.

The full collection is below.

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Milan Fashion Week Spring 2016 RTW: Moschino

Danger: Moschino!


Drive carefully my friends, for this is fashion for the car culture. From traffic cone orange (and traffic cone hats) to bright yellow workman vest inspired outfits, this was a collection all about the automobile. Perhaps that’s why it had a bit of a 50s vibe here and there, since that was the last era in which “car culture” was heralded so highly. But it was the 70s disco era playing in my head by the end of the collection as dresses that came straight out of the car wash  spun their way down the runway, with bubbles and soap spraying everywhere.

You might not ever get rich
But let me tell ya it’s better than diggin’ a ditch
There ain’t no tellin’ who you might meet
A movie star or maybe even an Indian chief
At the car wash
Workin’ at the car wash, girl
Come on and sing it with me

The full collection is below.

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Milan Fashion Week Fall 2015 RTW: Emporio Armani

I am not a big fan of Armani. The style is too simple, too masculine for my tastes, and too afraid of color. Though the man is a legend in his own time, it’s hard for me to get excited about his presentations. So I was pleasantly surprised by his Emporio Armani release in Milan this past week. Thought there were still way too many outfits, and the show seemed to drag on in spots, there were some real pieces to get excited about–especially in purple-blue and red.


Bright colors and ruffled lines are not generally considered hallmarks of the Armani brand, so I wasn’t the only one taken aback. (These are not “House Codes” as the parlance goes.) Fans of his usual style were not as into this line as they were the more staid Giorgio Armani line that walked a day or so later. And thought I saw more than one fashionista review the bows and accessories as clunky and over indulgent, I appreciated the attempt at adding a feminine touch as well as visual interest, even if at times the pieces seemed incongruous with the designs at hand.

The full collection is below.

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Milan Fashion Week Fall 2015 RTW: Marco de Vincenzo

Sometime during the 2014 seasons, Marco de Vincenzo discovered the rainbow. Up until then, his collections were a touch of the humdrum. You didn’t go to his show, in the words of one reviewer, “expecting the dress of the week.” Thought everyone agreed he had promise, said promise had not arrived yet.

It helped a bit that the fashion world caught up to de Vincenzo when it came to materials. Lurex, which only just caught on in Europe, had been a running motif in his collections for quite some time. But it was the joyous riot of color that he’s been experimenting with these last couple of seasons that really made the difference.


One thing that had remained constant–de Vincenzo’s love of embellishments. But those didn’t stand out the way they used to went compared to the knit test pattern like pieces that walked. It might not have been a deliberate nod to the 70s vibe that’s been so hot on the runway this season, but it’s the part everyone walked away remembering.

The full collection is below.

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Milan Fashion Week Fall 2015 RTW: Dsquared²

I suppose moving their show to Milan Fashion Week, as Dsquared² did back a couple of seasons ago, means that one can get away with things that might not have flown in the USA. Though I suppose if we’re being honest, the Fashion World is not exactly the most up to date in the cultural sensitivity department. Designs appropriate all the time, and very few bat an eye, even if perhaps the stereotypes being played on are neither accurate, nor flattering.

Dan and Dean Caten have never been ones to play to the conservative side of things. Their collections are regularly loud and riding the line between rock and roll and tacky. Since moving to Milan, their collections have gained a more sophisticated edge, but not one that completely obscures their earlier over the top designs. But this season’s Native American appropriation, in an attempt to create the idea of “fashion tribes” could have used some toning down.


Blessedly, the Catens eschewed some of the more tacky aspects of Native American culture, like head dresses, in favor of their conceptual idea of a hipster tribe vs a military group vs nouveau riche. But was the “savages” (as the liner notes actually read!) really necessary? In Italy, such stereotypes are totally acceptable, as the entire idea of Cowboys and Indians is a fantasy story from a foreign land. Perhaps the Catens should keep this season’s line over there.

The full collection is below.

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Milan Fashion Week Fall 2015 RTW: Giamba

Giambattista Valli’s eponymous line has been getting most of the attention lately, with Amal Clooney, sporting the enviable pieces, while Lena Dunham and Rihanna show up to red carpets in the less advisable ones. But for Milan’s Fall 2015 showing, he trotted out his demi-line, Giamba.

Like many demi lines, like Roberto Cavalli’s “Just Cavalli,” Giamba is supposed to be the younger skewing designs, for a more quirky and hip set. These aren’t pieces meant for the more mature Human Rights Lawyer. But they’re not funky couture that people will compare to bath items.


Instead the designs aimed for the next generation of the flower child. Some of the florals were total stand outs, especially towards the end, where the petals were allows to function as fluttery appliques. It was also the third line we reviewed this season to lean on statement stockings, which officially makes them a trend. Though there were misses along with the hits–the floral pants jumpsuit for instance was an eyesore, and there were just a few too many leather harness accessories running about–in general this was a collection where Valli made a very good argument why his clothing should and could be sold in stores.

The full collection is below.

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