Between shows and presentations, Milan has been a contrast in styles, in a season where many designers are riving far from the original DNA – seen at Moschino, Del Core, Brunello Cucinelli and Armani – 10 Corso Como
Moschino: Aristo punk rules, OK?
When it comes to punks, this is as posh as it gets. Ball gowns met spiked chokers, crinolines encountered towering mohawks in the evening show of Moschino.
Spikes truly oversize throughout – one punkette in a black gauze gown worthy of the Statue of Liberty, boasted nine-inch-high spikes. Not an easy lady to embrace.
All jumbled up with a Surrealist slant, even as designer Jeremy Scott played on the humoristic DNA of the maison. Way over the top yet containing some highly wearable and playful clothes. Like the strictly cut wool bouclé suits, their miniskirts finished with undulating hems. Or Siouxsie and the Banshees black stretch cocktails, with sleeves made in semi-sheer mesh; or very sexy mini bomber jackets; or saucy blazer dresses.
Everything finished with hefty boot buckles, chain belts, cartridge bracelets and huge love emblem earrings. Every model done up with giant Mohawks wigs, courtesy of some super hair styling by Paul Hanlon.
For evening, Strass n Roll – country house ball gowns finished with scores of crystal medallions and studs.
A great cast on the catwalk – Stella Maxwell, Adut Akech, Imaan Hammam – and an impressive front row – Ashley Graham, J Balvin, Lana Condor and Mia Khalifa. And the result was very much another hit for Moschino by Scott.
Del Core: Gate of the Arctic contaminated couture
Now that’s what we call a real designer. Meaning Daniel del Core is a bona fide creator who does not simply follow trends or interpret the current mood, but instead dreams up new universes via the medium of fashion.
This season his inspiration came from a two-week hike through the Gate of the Arctic national park in Alaska. One might ask, not exactly typical vacation territory for a designer. However, Daniel Roseberry of Schiaparelli spends summer vacations on remote Baltic islands; John Rocha fishes in the Bering Sea and Oscar de la Renta used to fly fish in Alaska too. So there.
Del Core’s opening look featured a crisply cut snow white wool suit, completed with nylon gaiters used by off piste skiers for protection.
His signature trick is reattaching split sleeves and trousers with hooks and eyes. It does not always look great, but it certainly looks intriguing. Daniel can drape with the best of them, as seen in his gathered opened-back gown, one crinkled in white like dried out snow. Another in a material that recalled burnt wood, just like the burnt tree trunks on the runway inside the Triennale design museum.
While his puffer jackets were the best we have seen anywhere so far – completed with harnesses, worn off the shoulder for runway effect and made in leaf or lichen pattern prints.
“I was lucky enough to have a moment in nature in Alaska, two weeks of outdoor camping. Exploring all the surfaces that ended up inspiring the collection. I wanted the idea of feeling the texture of a tree, lichen or moss this season in the clothes. A show that began very pure before slowly getting contaminated,” smiled Del Core.
Brunello Cucinelli: Anglo Italia mood
It’s been a busy February for Brunello Cucinelli, who besides unveiling his latest collection, found time to break bread with King Charles in Buckingham Palace.
Respecting royal protocol, he didn’t divulge their conversation, which centred around his plans with fellow Italian Federico Marchetti to build a sustainable fabric business with local people in the Himalayas.
“I have an enormous amount of respect for his majesty. He is an extremely good man,” said Brunello, at the presentation in his Milan showroom within the courtyard of an Art Liberty palace.
The following evening, Cucinelli hosted dinner for 350 international retailers, serving his favorite food from his native region of Umbria.
Even the presentation had superb wine, a delicious velvety 2019 Merlot named Montiano, grown by the Cotarella family in Tuscia – the hipster term for lands connecting Tuscany, Lazio and Umbria. With wine this good, you know Brunello’s business ain’t half bad.
The British manor even influenced this season’s clothes. For next fall, Cucinelli showed his preferred pure lines and soft subtle color palette. Riffing ever so slightly on the British manor, with winter wear or rural weekends. Sort of Downton Abbey updated for 21st century Umbria with fleecy finishes, regimental stripes and sartorial micro patterns.
A cast of models touring the covered courtyard in pleated miniskirts, sporty V-necks, ties and baseball caps, as a live trio played soft Italian jazz.
Armani 10 – Corso Como
Last, but very much not least, the emperor of Italian fashion unveiled Armani – 10 Corso Como, an entirely denim collection presented inside Milan’s most important concept store.
All made in unwashed denim, smartly contrasted by cognac-hued leather collars, trim and piping – seen in blazers, trenches, dusters and even a new smart clutch.
Cleverly displayed inside a marvellous art installation – Mobilia Essay by Italian artist Flavio Favelli. A 20-square-meter construction of old wardrobes, dining tables and beds, inside which were four armchairs upholstered in rubber.
A neat move away by the designer from his normal repertoire both for Armani Jeans and Armani Casa.
Available already online, and in future in Armani boutiques in Milan, New York, Tokyo and Shanghai.
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