Think sparkles and shimmers, fun silhouettes that invite a shadow dance, and peeks of skin with tailoring tricks once reserved for women’s wardrobes. That’s what Milan Fashion Week offered.
DOLCE & GABBANA RETURN IN BLACK
If you just looked at the color, Dolce & Gabbana went back to basics: the entire collection for next winter was mostly black and white, which is better for nighttime play. Gray and white monochromatic colors played a secondary role.
Although it was lightweight, the look was anything but basic. Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana created a collection built around tailoring, with late-night syncopated club beats in mind.
Long coats or dramatic capes will get you to the door of the club. Inside, men’s corsets, obi belts and suspenders cinch the waist, a silhouette that is mimicked by the dramatic hourglass cut of coats and jackets with rounded waists and broad shoulders. The strobe picks up the sparkle and shine on the garments, while sheer tops and muscular knits show off the physique.
Machine Gun Kelly and Italian singer Blanco were among the guests in the front rows of the designer duo.
FLY AWAY WITH EMPORIO ARMANI
Giorgio Armani has been on the world fashion map for more than four decades. His latest collection for Emporio Armani drew a literal map of his adopted Milan, with models walking the perimeter of the circular runway giving a bird’s-eye view of the map of the fashion capital’s historic center.
The collection was inspired by aviation, and there were also traces of tailoring from the golden era of flying, when hotties like Charles Lindbergh made history by crossing the Atlantic solo.
A gray jumpsuit with a belt and a fur collar, an aviator cap and thick boots set the tone. Once it lands, there are muted plaid suits with trousers cut just above the boot — the invention of the season. Equipment is stored in bags and nautical bags.
Comfortable knitwear in combination with leather pants and a jacket, some of which have vintage finishes, creates an adventurous silhouette. But the true hunk comes out in colorful daywear, including a beautiful coat in a smart camel color, velvet jackets in deep shades and silk shirts worn with bright colors such as magenta, purple and violet.
Leather belts and utility belts added an edge. Purses are strapped to the top of the boots. Mirrored aviator glasses complete the look.
Armani (88) was in a good mood and picked up the handbag that fell from the model while greeting the crowd at the end of the show.
FENDI FLASHES SOME LEATHER
Next winter’s Fendi collection shines with leather in ways once reserved for women.
One-shoulder tops – both knit and button-up – bare skin to add sexy drama to the look. The knit was super sheer, barely there. A bit of layering brought back some modesty for the office, but could easily be undone for an evening transition.
Long coats included a wraparound, asymmetrical cape, a tailoring trick mimicked in trousers with a skirt wrapped to one side. The effect was pleasant and enveloping, offering a cocoon as we returned to the world.
Fendi’s whimsy was on full display in the knitted hats: one in the shape of a cool cartoon wig, with a lively flap, or another hat with a fringe on the back. Capes and loose coats and scarves also ended up with fringes. Bombers had an old, worn feel. The palate was mostly modest tones of grey, oatmeal and burnt umber combined with purple and lavender. Graphite beads caught the light of evening looks.
K-WAY CELEBRATES PARISIAN HERITAGE
Franco-Italian activewear brand K-Way imported a piece of its Parisian birthplace as a backdrop to showcase a new collection that marks the transition to a lifestyle brand.
The trademark K-Way packable raincoats were inspired when brand founder Leon-Claude Duhamel saw two children wearing red nylon raincoats while sitting in the Cafe de la Paix on a rainy day in 1965. To honor that heritage, the Italian owners they borrowed original cafe tables and wicker seating from a Parisian landmark. Duhamel himself, now in his 80s, joined the fashionable crowd sipping champagne and nibbling on cream cakes in a recreated cafe.
Vice President of Sales Lorenzo Boglione, whose family controls the parent company BasicNet, is helping the company transition the brand, with plans to produce technical equipment for sailing and skiing.
“We really want to remember where we come from and celebrate that moment. We have to remember where we come from in order to know where to go,” Boglione said. “We want to be colorful, we want to be functional, we want to be modern.”
This means you don’t just focus on outerwear. The new collection included cropped puffer jackets with tight accordion pleats, Yeti-style short coats with matching boots layered over skinny suits or quilted shorts and tops. Long puffer coats, like a sleeping bag, paired with detachable hoods or fur collars. The brand’s signature zipper acts as a logo, providing accents alongside function. The color selection veered towards K-Way’s traditional orange and blue, with some white and green.