Designers highlighted female power on the third day of Milan Fashion Week, previewing collections for next fall and winter.
At Cormio, it was girl power as exemplified by a youth soccer team who lent their field as the runway venue and halted practice to watch. At Andreadamo, the southern Italian designer challenged the myth of Eve as the bringer of original sin. And Gucci constructed a new female archetype during its interim, between creative directors phase.
Highlights from runway shows on Friday, the third day of mostly womenswear collections:
GUCCI DRAWS ON PAST AS IT LOOKS AHEAD
The first post-Alessandro Michele and pre-Sabato De Sarno Gucci womenswear show left the fashion world in a state of suspended animation, wondering where the brand will ultimately go.
The collection designed by the Gucci team—many of whom have worked for two decades at the house—drew on the heritage they have helped create. The notes cited Tom Ford’s sensual silhouette from the 1990s. There were even signs of Michele’s eccentric flourish, just months after he stepped down.
But probably most significant at this moment of palette cleansing was a strong tide of Gucci basics, with a pragmatic streak. They included 1990s cut suits with broad shoulders and easy fit trousers or wide-cut jeans with men’s shirting, worn with an ample overcoat and accompanied by a big all-purpose handbag.
Sheers otherwise dominated the runway, revealing Gucci-branded thongs and fishnet stockings in bright shades through the garments. The looks were for the bold and body-confident as they left little to the imagination. The Gucci team provided many ample furry coats to provide cover to one’s destination.
Looks were finished with kitten heels, some with furry accents and rounded double-G heels.
The Italian rock sensation Maneskin, which has frequently been dressed by Gucci, was on hand for the show. Celebrity guests also included actresses Halle Bailey, Julia Garner and Dakota Johnson and singers Beth Ditto and A$AP Rocky, who rocked a skirt.
BLACK CARPET AWARDS PROMOTE DIVERSITY
The first-ever Black Carpet Awards recognized achievements of minorities in Italian society, with the goal of promoting greater diversity and inclusion.
Anna Wintour was among the front-row guests, along with the president of the Italian National Fashion Chamber, Carlo Capasa. “I am here to support the community her in Milan and hopefully put more of a spotlight on the amazing work that they do,’’ Wintour said on arrival.
The awards were organized by Afro Fashion Week Milano founder Michelle Ngonmo and recognized leaders who promote inclusion, diversity and equity through culture, creativity, community, legacy and entrepreneurship, with separate awards in each category chosen by a jury and by a popular vote.
Ngonmo said after the ceremony that she felt the award were a sign that “we are starting in a concrete way to move the conversation forward.”
SUNNEI CROWD SURFING
Models on the Sunnei runway did not have trust issues. They simply turned at the end of the raised runway, and fell backward into the crowd of fashionistas, crowd-surfing stadium-style.
Don’t expect designers Simone Rizzo and Loris Messina to stage a standard runway show, but rather looks for ways to immerse the crowd in the experience. The referred to the show as “catharsis … a process of purification.’’
The runway turn, and fall, was enough to take in the looks, which the pair described as “the fruit of months of design and textile research.”
Crochet fur in bright colors may have been just enough to cushion any mishap. It appeared as fringe on coats, as eccentric hats, but most fetchingly in a fringy skirt, bandeau top and arm warmer combo. The designers themselves put their faith in the crowd, falling backward into it as a final bow.
JIL SANDER POPS MOTIFS
Designers Luke and Lucie Meier helped get the frenetic fashion crowd into a receptive state for their latest Jil Sander collection with some calming music before their runway show.
The collection spoke through silhouettes, opening with some leather looks in color blocks seemingly inspired by motorsports with the brand name heat printed in raised letters, and closing with hourglass shaped dresses and jackets. The pair turned out gracefully layered looks with tops, tunics over trousers, and offered seasonal motifs of cherries and wrapped peppermints, which appeared on garments as photo prints. Signature pendants finished the looks.
CORMIO PROMOTES GIRL POWER
Designer Jezabelle Cormio presented a collection that mixes the girlie — ruffles, bows and ribbons — with the athletic, in the form of indoor pitch soccer shoes and soccer ball-shaped bags.
All of the Cormio brand looks were easy to wear and move in, with manifold layering possibilities, underlining the Gen-Z staple of easy comfort and self-styling.
Dresses stretched over the form. Knitwear with raised argyle pattern were layered prettily with super-cropped sweaters with ruffled draining. The star was the collection’s motif, seen on stretch dresses and pleated denim mini skirts worn with knee socks — caught somewhere between girlhood and the grownup world.
ANDREADAMO SPRINGS FROM ITALY'S SOUTH
Andrea Adamo is here to say that someone from a small town in the southern Italian region of Calabria can make it on the Milan runway. Even if the fashion world kind of already knew that, from the Versaces.
In that tradition, he presents power looks for his Andreadamo grand with grommets and leather, tulle and knitwear that swaddle the form.
Tulle wrapped over knitwear, encasing it mummy like. Grommet-covered nude dresses finished with a mermaid flair. Andamo also puts volumes in big boots that engulf the knees or trailing pant hems.
The motif of the season is a fig leaf. And a representative “Eve” closed the show in a nude bodysuit with appropriately placed metallic dig leaves. Original sin flouted.
Adamo said the collection paid homage to his native city, Crotone, and its fragile mountainsides, represented in the earth tone colors. He dedicated it to his seamstress grandmother, who didn't get to see him make it to the big northern fashion city.
Standing in front of his mood board and eyeing details on each model before the show, Adamo wiped away a tear in her memory.
“This is a homage to my city to show that even from a small city in the south you can dream,'' he said.
TOD’S WARMS UP FOR NEXT WINTER
Fashion met art for Tod’s runway show for next fall and winter, set among the towering re-enforced concrete structures titled “The Seven Heavenly Palaces” by Anselm Kiefer.
Outerwear is central to the latest collection by creative director Walter Chiapponi, from floor-sweeping parkas to cropped bombers.
The clean lines in warm monotones put the emphasis on functionality and artisanal detailing: miniskirts were paired with ribbed knit shirts with leather detailing and a close-toe sling-back shoe while dresses cinched at the waist, mimicking a parka, and were worn with Teddy bear ballet flats in shearling. This is an urban wardrobe that translates easily into the office.
Despite the early morning call, the runway show was a celeb-fueled affair, including an international array of actresses: Kathryn Newton from the US, Milly Alcock from Austrialia, Liu Shishi from China and Nana Eikura from Japan, as well as South Korean singer Joy.