MILAN (AP) — The Milan runway was all about transformation on Friday, the third day of Milan Fashion Week, with mostly womenswear previews for upcoming spring and summer.
Sometimes it was about inner transformation, like at Gucci, sometimes about upgrading your style game, like at Sunnei, and sometimes about brand transformation, like at Missoni. Stella Jean and
Some excerpts from Friday’s shows.
TWINSBURG BY GUCCI
Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele has built a true parallel universe on the Milan catwalk with a surprise theatrical reveal.
For her Spring-Summer 2022-23 collection dubbed ‘Twinsburg’, Michele staged side-by-side shows inside the Gucci Hub, each unbeknownst to the other, until a wall came up. , revealing identical-looking twins in a synchronic stride.
For the final walkthrough, the 68 pairs of twins met in the center, holding hands and coming together for the final walkthrough.
The revelation was so powerful, so unexpected, that normally jaded fashionistas could be heard confessing after being moved to tears.
“I was crying too. I don’t really know why,’ Michele said backstage. “I don’t cry often but maybe it was appropriate for me to cry at the end because it was very intense.”
“I think it’s a lot more complex to do this job now. There are times when I wonder why I do this? Someone is talking about nuclear war. Politics is a disaster. The situation on the planet is a disaster,’ Michele added. “But as human beings, the only weapon we have is to imagine something else and make it happen.”
Michele said the show was an exploration of our own inner selves and the revelation that we harbor some sort of inner twin, which could hold us back or stimulate us.
His idea of ”the other” was shaped by an unusual family arrangement growing up believing he had two mothers: his own genetic mother and his twin sister. He called the two “mamma” because they raised their families in neighboring apartments because they couldn’t bear to be apart. He said he only started to understand the difference when he was 7 when his aunt died.
“I had two moms, because we all lived together, so I really appreciated what it meant to take care of others,” he said.
Michele said presenting her collection in duplicate gave more power to the garments, each of which was designed to the eclectic standard that Michele set with great global success.
They included a suit with trousers that appeared to be held up by garters, revealing the upper thigh, a part of the male physique rarely seen in formal attire. Quilted floral jackets and pants were a sexless affair. A magnificent silk-embroidered dress was pleated in the back with a trailing train. The looks were accessorized with new metallic fringe face jewelry, also featured on the sunglasses.
The notion of an evil twin was represented on the catwalk by motifs from the 1980s film “Gremlins,” in which the creatures transform to become naughty. Appearing as stuffed accessories, patches and prints, the Gremlins were meant to emphasize “the fear of your evil self”, Michele said.
Michele flashed the word “Fuori!!!” on some clothing as a tribute to an Italian gay rights organization founded in 1971. Michele has spoken in the past about Italy’s failure to pass landmark legislation that would criminalize hate crimes against gays, women and people with disabilities, and he expressed concern over predictions that a far-right party is set to dominate Italy’s legislative elections on Sunday.
“The elections clearly show that freedoms are being eroded little by little,” he said. “There was a time when we accomplished a lot. It’s very complicated. »
The designers behind Milan sensation Sunnei have toyed with the idea of transformation, using twins to represent alter-egos.
One by one, the models in street clothes come down from the stands, make their way onto the podium, then walk through a revolving door, through which their twin returns, decked out in a new Sunnei look.
Designers Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo seemed to be telling a young audience of hoodie-loving street dressers how to up their game, style-wise.
So one with a sleeveless sweatshirt and jeans turned into a green and blue striped shirt, worn with loose white shorts. A young woman in a black T-shirt and jeans returned as an alter ego in a long royal blue coat with a white satin collar and cuffs. Khaki pants and a gray shirt disappeared behind the door, and out came a baggy anise green top with gathered pants, a kind of urban tracksuit.
THE GOTHIC GODDESSES OF VERSACE
Gigi Hadid wore a dark hooded dress with a high slink factor. Her sister, Bella, was a blushing-free bride in a dark purple lace corset and crinkled satin skirt. Emily Ratajkowski wore a leather micro-mini with a tough biker jacket and a studded handbag. And Paris Hilton topped them all in a shimmering fuchsia mini dress, riding high in silver heeled pumps.
Forget the muses. These were Donatella Versace’s Dark Gothic Goddesses, representing a collection that conveyed feminine power in a way only Versace can.
“I’ve always loved a rebel,” Versace said in the show’s notes. “A confident, intelligent, bit of a diva woman.”
Shiny hoodies tucked into navel-deep hoods wrapped in shaggy fur-like jackets made from upcycled chiffon and lace. Flowing chiffon dresses were slit high and worn over satin trousers, the Versace logo floating on the long trailing skirt. Sheer black dresses featured skin-revealing cutouts. Cascading fringes of jackets, dresses and trousers. The color palette was decidedly dark, rooted in purples and blacks, with a few pops of red, lime and fuchsia.
The show conveyed a strong sense of female ritual as models walked through a dark candle-lit and stained-glass-lined runway with the Versace Medusa head, before exiting through glass-encased spaces where men in bathrobes lounge on gilded chairs at the middle of purple columns, highlighting a shift in power dynamics.
STELLA JEAN CELEBRATES DIVERSITY IN ITALY
Haitian-Italian designer Stella Jean returned to the Milan catwalk after a two-year hiatus with a tour de force that highlighted the talents of 10 up-and-coming color artists whose design history is tied to Italy.
Jean has pledged in 2020 not to show up during Milan Fashion Week until she’s the only black designer. The We are Made in Italy movement she founded with black American designer Edward Buchanan and Afro Fashion Week Milano founder Michelle Ngomno assured that she would not.
Buchanan opened the show with denim-inspired jersey knits from her Sansonvino 6 line, followed by capsule collections from WAMI’s latest designer group Fabulous Five, and designs by Stella Jean combining Italian couture and artisanal references that it finds all over the world.
Each of the new WAMI designers shares a connection to Italy, either through family or by moving to study or work here.
The Italian-Indian designer Eileen Claudia Akbaraly introduced her to the Made for a Woman brand, which makes clothing and accessories from ethical raffia from Madagascar. New York designer Akila Stewart founded bag brand FATRA, which works with reused plastic waste. Born in India, Neha Poorswani designs shoes under the name “Runway Reinvented”. Vietnamese designer Phang Dang Hoang’s clothing line blends Asian and Western cultures, and Korean designer Kim Gaeun’s “Villain” brand combines elements of traditional Korean costumes mixed with modern hip-hop culture.
“There are so many Italians who are not Italian, who are immigrants who feel Italian. I think it’s so beautiful,” Stewart said.
The show ended on a celebratory note, with models, designers and activists gathered on the catwalk, cheering and rocking to Cynthia Erivo’s song “Stand Up.”
Jean implored Italians in the crowd to vote in Sunday’s legislative elections, setting an optimistic tone despite projections that a far-right, anti-migrant party is likely to win.
“Fear not on Sunday, September 25. Our situation will not get worse. We have to trust our country,” she said.
Family-owned fashion house Missoni has taken a new turn with a new creative director digging through the archives for clues on how to make the brand’s fine knitwear relevant for a new generation.
A star-studded front row signaled the target audience: performer Paris Jackson, American actor Madison Bailey, model and social media influencer Maddie White and Brazilian model Alessandra Ambrosio.
Creative director Filippo Grazioli’s youthful figure relied on mini skirts with deep V-slits over bodysuits and sheer dresses with pretty sequins over zigzag panties.
Models cheekily paraded braless through sheer tops, moments which Grazioli said were a tribute to brand founder Rosita Missoni’s decision to send models down a catwalk in Florence in 1966 Missoni was thus exiled to Milan, her home ever since.
The looks featured oversized zig-zags as well as less familiar geometric patterns from the archives. The shoes of the season were Lucite wrap platform heels. The looks were completed with flat silver jewelry.
Not all pieces strictly adhered to Missoni’s knitting ethos, including sequin-studded ballet skirts and long sheer dresses, like the one Paris Jackson wore with black-and-white zigzag culottes.
Marking the transition, Missoni employees took up half the seats in Bocconi’s underground atrium, while students from the Milan business school watched from above through the bay windows above.
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