Spring 2015 Ready to Wear: Milan

Milan is but a dream now as we focus on la mode in the city of lights, but that doesn’t mean the Italian contingency didn’t have proper sacrifices to the fashion gods. I must say, this has been one of my favorite seasons in Milan. There were dozens of collections that really hit the mark.

Looking at the list, we’re touching all the heavy hitters this season in Italy. It’s not that the lesser known houses were bad; it’s just that a lot of the bigger brands knocked it out of the park this season, for better or worse.

Dolce and Gabbana

Well, it took them long enough, but they finally did a location collection that worked. Leaving Sicily behind, the D&G boys headed to Spain and all plundered all, or most, of the trappings held dear by Spanish bullfighting. Ubiquitous inspiration to be sure, but Dolce and Gabbana made it their own by returning to their lingerie and tailoring roots. This collection was tightly edited in both cut and color, and they simplified beaded motifs and cleaned up prints, with manageable wearability. It felt like the tightly designed collections of D&G past, and frankly, it was a welcome remembrance.

Marni

I normally think of Marni as a free-spirited print house, but this season took on a completely different vibe. There were the lovable prints that they normally do, but they felt more grown-up in their sober color palette. The cuts were typically off-kilter in a charming fashion, but within their quirkiness, there was a maturity that begs to be explored further. The patchworks were outstanding. Slicing and carving out folds and drapes was the order of the day, and the house of Marni did not disappoint. I can’t say there was one aspect of this collection I didn’t like. They nailed it and I can’t wait to see how it evolves for next season. Bravo Marni!

Moschino

Oh dear, Jeremy Scott. Well, he went Barbie this season for Moschino and OH BOY, did he do it as over the top as possible. When Franco Moschino designed the collection, the humor was smart and poked fun at the fashion industry, when Jiardini designed the collection, the humor was subtle and always marketable, but when Scott tells a joke, he makes sure the whole room can hear it and it’s usually not that funny as he stands there in embarrassed silence until someone begrudges him a slight chuckle. Unfortunately for us, this season was no exception.  From beginning to end, the clothes were made to look like the kind your grandma sewed for your own Barbie doll – without a stitch of irony. The collection had a forced playfulness to it and nothing looked well made. Hell, even the fabrics floated with an obvious cheapness. There were a few wearable pieces, but it will be interesting to see if the retailers bite. I’m ready for the jokes to end, but I think Scott is having too much fun spending Moschino’s money to quit. Ultimately, the number of sales will call the shots, and if they numbers are up, who am I to criticize. 😉

Prada

I’m still trying to figure out how heavy fabrics and thick layers define a spring collection, but hey, it seemed to work. Prada has been on a hot streak lately and this collection proved that trend will continue. There were beautiful, simple treatments and embellishments on all the pieces – the topstitching was clean and unexpectedly fresh. The color palette was somber and her usually knack for prints was diluted into obvious graphic elements that ran in uniform synchronicity down the front of a few dresses. Miucia Prada has a thing for raw hems, and if that was the only detraction from the collection, I guess I can live with it. Overall, it was a good collection with a clear point of view. One can’t ask more of that. On a personal note, I want the men’s version of the indigo scroll and leather coat, like now.

Also, GEMMA WARD WAS ON THE RUNWAY!!!!

Pucci

The seventies! Apparently all of Milan was drinking the nostalgia Kool-aid because several houses took a trip in the Way-Back machine and Pucci was no exception. Few houses have the thick history of Pucci and Peter Dundas knows how to make the best of it. He was up to his usual, sexy standards, but there was a distinct smartness to all the looks. The cut away bodices were clean and the dissolving prints harkened back to the hey0day of the house without seeming like an archive plunder. That’s not to say that the entire collection was drowning in smoldering sex-appeal. There were a few tailored pieces that looked fresh and clean in their unexpected delivery. Overall, a very nice collection from a venerable house.

Versace

This was one of the cleanest outings Donatella has ever designed for the house. It was so sharply edited and tailored, It almost looked like what would happen if the house of Versace just relaxed and listened to smooth jazz instead of hard rock. There were plenty of wearable pieces that tickled the edge of sexiness. She worked in her usual sparkles, but even they seemed quiet and eased-off. The tailoring was looser this season and the embellishments were smart and sparingly used. This season is going to give the Versace customer something they haven’t had in a long time – easy, uncomplicated glamor.

OK kids, Paris is up next, then I run down the list of fashion duds the fashion world subjected us to this season.

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