Milan Fashion Week showcased an expected flurry of innovative and experiential designers who explored a whole new attitude towards how they express clothing, and the symbolic codes that their brands carry. This season seemed to centre on a silent conversation between the designers and their audience. Personalised messages hidden within each outfit were gifted to us by the designers, resulting in a colourful presentation exploring the vivid spectrum of fashion-wise decades with surprise twists along the way. We’ve handpicked our favourite shows amongst the sea of collections that demanded a considerate amount of thought long after the closing looks.
Demonstrating that he is a ‘fashion intellectual’, Alessandro Michele took inspiration from iconic historians and philosophers, presenting a vivid exploration of a large spectrum of fashion. Alessandro proudly referred to his A/W 16 collection as a ‘fashion history explosion’, borrowing style symbols from each era and sewing them together for a truly unique taste. Since becoming the creative director for Gucci, Alessandro has projected more of a free-spirited infused aesthetic into the brand, contrasting to the original maximalist approach. Models embraced a mash-up of 60s printed minis with Victorian pearls, floral prints with military coats, furs with netting, and so-on, to represent our non-stop consumption of fashion and the different codes a particular style era carries.
The A/W collection explored and celebrated the many facets of womanhood, through both symbols of strength and imprisonment. Each model presented completely different ways of expressing femininity, making us look at the complex nature of women, and how they are either celebrated or decorated. Models wore heavy embellishments featuring keys, chokers and corsets which symbolised anti-freedom attitudes towards women in previous decades. Sailor hats, shoulder pads and bold prints expressed empowerment and adventure. The collection was reminiscent of expectations for women to be hard-working but remain beautiful.
Exploring a sense of girl gangs and urban motorcycle cultures, Moschino models showcased biker caps, biker-evening-gowns and the typical buckle and chain accessorising. Exploring a fun and rebellious ‘she’s hard a nails’ personality. Models wore unfitted t-shirts tucked into skin tight trousers with clashing gold, silver and pearl jewellery, whilst others adorned deconstructed bows and denim with hand cuffs and safety pins. The bold collection evolved into a statement transformation, signature to the brand’s previous collections. Models paraded down the catwalk drowning in singing, smoking gowns and cocktail dresses featuring punchy colours and prom-style forms decaying with holes and blackened with fire damage. The models, the runway and the show invitations all emanated a sense of destruction, rejecting the idea of luxury and the way society consumes it.
Whilst sticking with symbols signature to the brand using neon, bold eye makeup, metallics, and thigh-skimming short hemlines, the show diversely complimented the energetic, active woman who knows who she is and what she wants. Mini dresses, zipped thigh-slits, and skin tight knits, the A/W 16 show was all about expressing women’s style and individuality. Belted coats with leather detailing were skilfully paired with sports-luxe ribbed turtle necks and neon accessories, shedding a whole new light on power dressing. Dresses were decorated with exotic digital prints and sporty striped details to cuffs and collars.
Exploring a mixture of ‘maximalism’ through different cultures, twins Dean and Dan Caten presented a combination of black Elizabethan details with gold, green and brown military vibes. Models were adorned with fur, ruffles, lace, embellishment, tassels, ribbons and pleats, showing that texture was the central focus. Unexpected combinations took centre stage with flair. Tailored denim military jackets and Japanese warrior-style skirts were paired with fur shrugs, and Victorian embroidery mixed with combat jeans and heavy-weight belts. Models were decorated with tasseled earrings and smouldering black eye makeup