Milan makes fashion matter
Last week’s Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020-2021 showed that fashion is beginning to reset its aesthetic vision for current times
The shows held last week during Milan’s (mostly) digital menswear, women’s pre-fall and resort Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020-2021, from 14-17 July, didn’t keep guests waiting as they usually would. The live streams, short movies and music videos let designers and fashion houses find new ways of sharing their creativity.
Trends at the fashion week were generally not as lavish as used to be the norm. On the one hand, the theme was essentially simple, utilitarian and functional—like slim, clinical suits and dresses with little colour—to perfectly fit the mood of how to dress while in lockdown. On the other hand, some designers compensated for the vibrant glamour missing from these times with a loud and wild aesthetic, such as sequins and baroque. There were also moods of travel and adventure, something we have all been missing, merging with light, reimagined staples in bright colours to offer some hope for the future.
Lounge picks out some of the trends that ruled Milan.
Taking it easy
“As times become increasingly complex, clothes become straightforward, unostentatious, machines for living and tools for action and activity"—this is how Prada described its collection in The Show That Never Happened. The clothes, such as suits, coats, jackets and dresses, were simple yet sharp, rendered in a mostly monochromatic colour palette. Even though black nylon was used prominently, the couture-like tailoring made it look industrial. Salvatore Ferragamo’s Shaping A Dream resort collection featured jackets, coats, dresses, trousers and separates defined by clean, sleek lines in a neutral to warm colour palette, with a few mixed animal prints here and there. The mood was radiant. The inspiration came from mid-century Scandinavian furniture, as well as the brand’s own legacy.
Jet, set and go
French label Jacquemus’ new collection L’Amour was an ode to the brand’s team. Its slip dresses, skirts, bra-tops, high-waisted pants, printed shirts and jackets looked wispy and breezy in lightweight, summery fabrics in off-white shades. Tod’s more straightforward presentation, Inside Tod’s Studio, was a homage to the brand itself and the work that goes into a collection. Inspired by the 1970s travel lifestyle, the brand revived its classic silhouettes with jackets and parkas in leather, exaggerated collared shirts, slightly flared trousers and mod silhouette dresses and skirts. Spanish menswear brand David Catalán’s safari-inspired idea was realized in a collection in tropical, earthy tones of brown, blue, green and orange on slim suits, textured T-shirts and denim shorts, with the use of many and large pockets and ranger hats giving the collection an expedition-like vibe.
Ermenegildo Zegna offered a collection defined by lightness in its Zegna XXX collection, which also reflected on the label’s 110-year legacy. Suits with slim lapels and fabrics more commonly used in shirting than in suits, soft turtle-necks, pleated and loose trousers and kimono shirts were rendered in delicate pastels and sorbet-toned hues. Boxy silhouettes in blended and recycled fabrics featured prominently. MSGM created a show based on optimism and hopefulness. The streetwear inflection with sportiness in menswear took the form of oversized hoodies, sweatshirts and shorts in vivid graphic prints and intricate knitwear. The womenswear was more delicate, with blazers, skirts, dresses and pyjamas accented with feminine details in sorbet-like, summery hues of pink, yellow and lilac.
A beautiful escapade
To heighten the glam factor and energy, Versace relied on sexy snakeskin patterns, archival prints, acid colours and a 1980s power persona through tough, padded shoulders in its teaser for the forthcoming Flash collection. While their womenswear was body-conscious and structured, their menswear adopted a sportier approach, with T-shirts, sweatshirts and suits tailored in leather, denim and knitted textiles. Gucci’s Epilogue collection—which was presented over a 12-hour live stream—was a culmination of the brand’s previous aesthetic, celebrating excess with bold floral prints, embroidery and geometric patterns inspired by the 1970s. Dolce & Gabbana’s physical show took complex inspiration from Italian architect Gio Ponti’s work at the Parco dei Principi hotel in Sorrento, with the hotel’s blue-and-white tiling on the pants, shirting and dressing gowns.