The Pomp and Performance of Milan
I think it is safe to state that the Versace podium may have been the most memorable fashion moment, and I don’t think anyone with argue with the return of the Supermodels, from Helena Christensen’s perfectly arched leg, with Cindy and Naomi looking just like they did 20 years ago.
With their supernatural looks and never-ending careers, Naomi, Cindy, Claudia, Carla and Helena are the embodiment of the source of eternal youth and life, which every designer in Milan seemed to be thinking about in a Spring / Summer 2018 season that dealt with sentiments of revival.
For Spring / Summer 2018, Milan didn’t disappoint. Starting strong at Gucci with hair accessories piled on top of distressed waves by Guido Palau and his team (and then again later at Dolce & Gabbana) they were enough of a talking point to keep me going (more on hair accessories this season later). Think red lips and winged eyeliner, and if make-up could describe a Fashion Week city, this is Milan.
As Pamela Anderson and Christie Brinkley applauded their kids on the runway at Dolce and Gabbana, the event took on a folksy fashion feeling. It was as though Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana - who by the end of the show joined their models drinking Champagne on the catwalk - were celebrating dressing "real" women (admittedly, these included a British royal and children of rock stars). Most of the clothes were reruns on familiar territory. That meant curvaceous dresses in black lace and silvered dressing robes for him, as well as all kinds of animal embellishments from big cats such as leopard prints or embroideries of cute cats, Stefano's passion.
The stage wear of Elton John opening the catwalk show at Milan Fashion Week did not follow a formula, smacking of obvious commercial success. But this is Gucci, where the designer Alessandro Michele’s avant-garde approach to luxury has confounded the industry. This season the aesthetic took a turn toward glam rock, with clothes inspired by Elton John’s stage outfits. Tour jackets, high-waisted jumpsuits and power-shouldered blazers were worn by male models dripping in jewellery and female models whose crispy fringes resembled Renate Blauel.
When Lorenzo Serafini started designing for Philosophy, the clothes all seemed to have innocence at their core. The only obvious touches of sauciness for Spring / Summer 2018 included denim shorts or jackets scissored off thigh-high. The rest was fresh and modest – in tune with the designer's inspiration: Tina Chow, one of fashion's most naturally elegant figures
New blood arrived in Milan this season with Roberto Cavalli and Jil Sander. At Cavalli, Paul Surridge replaced the overt sexiness of his predecessor with a more streamlined, sporty version of glam. At Jil Sander, the husband-and-wife duo of Luke and Lucie Meier focused on the airier, earthier elements of the brand’s heritage and presented both menswear and womenswear.
There was also a revival of snakeskin: as a hand-painted python halter-neck dress slunk onto the catwalk at Salvatore Ferragamo, courtesy of Bella Hadid's serpentine walk. It started at Fendi, where nipped-in, ladylike Seventies silhouettes dominated the line-up. It continued at Tod's, where snakeskin bags and shoes were the headline news and python made its way onto breezy suede and linen separates.
Now on to Paris….