An effervescent Milan Fashion Week signals the return of femininity
Heaving traffic, blocked roads, not a taxi to be found, delirious fashionistas... as deputy mayor Cristina Tajani pointed out when she applauded the success of Milan Fashion Week, which concluded this Monday: "It would have been impossible to ignore, even for the most inattentive observer, that something was happening in Milan this week!"
Amidst spectacular installations, sequins and explosive runways, this Milan Fashion Week – dedicated to Spring/Summer 2018 – delivered on all fronts. "The feedback has been more than positive, in particular with the grand finale on Sunday, the Oscars of eco-fashion, which led to a memorable and very moving evening at la Scala", was the enthusiastic evaluation given by the president of the National Chamber for Italian Fashion (CNMI), Carlo Capasa.
Most commentators have noted the wonderful energy, and above all, the seamless cohesion between the relevant Italian bodies which allowed this Milan Fashion Week to be held at the same time as the most important industry trade fairs, such as the shoe trade show TheMicam, inaugurated on this occasion by the Italian prime-minister Paulo Gentiloni.
"We are united, and it shows! TheMicam attracted over 47,000 visitors, the Mipel leather goods trade show has seen its visitor numbers shoot up by 17%. Incorporating the trade fairs into Fashion Week was a real plus, allowing us to attract more buyers, particularly international ones", commented Massimiliano Bizzi, founder of the White Milano trade show, who also underlined the fundamental support of the government in the operation.
Since 2015, Italian production has benefited from financial support amounting to 200 million euros across all sectors. This funding was provided in order for companies to promote their technical savoir-faire abroad, but also through specific events, such as those which punctuated this Milan Fashion Week, from the Green Carpet Fashion Awards to the Milano XL project. "There's a desire to bring fashion to life in Milan with the same energy as that seen at the Milan Furniture Fair", stated Massimiliano Bizzi.
The glamour served by the Italian fashion houses throughout the week did the rest of the work, between sumptuous parties and shows organised in the most beautiful locations, from the open air runway installed in the Parco Semione by Roberto Cavalli, to the courtyard of the Castello Sforzesco used by Marco de Vincenzo, via the historical magnificence of the Palazzo Archinto chosen by Bottega Veneta, and the construction site currently housed by the Teatro Lirico and taken over by Antonio Marras.
Not forgetting the week's highlights which will, no doubt, live on in the hearts and minds of their attendees: the commemoration runway given by Donatella Versace in hommage to her brother Gianni, for example, with its spectacular curtain call featuring five top models of the Eighties – Cindy Crawford, Carla Bruni, Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen and Claudia Schiffer – who all accompanied the brand when it was first taking off.
Looking at the collections, next summer promises a return to a certain past elegance, with looks designed for ladies. Between the delicateness of "boudoir" ensembles (with a plethora of slips, baby-dolls and other transparent nightgowns) and a neo-romanticism inspired by bucolic gardens, the feminine silhouettes established a style with more than a touch of the retro, including a slew of long dresses and flared skirts cut below the knee, complemented by knotted headscarves.
Having affirmed themselves in previous seasons by drawing on masculine and athletic wardrobes to create clothes in which super women could take on a world in crisis, Milanese designers have permitted themselves a return to a much softer vision of femininity with the the new woman sketched out by this Fashion Week's runways. Lingerie was particularly well represented, as was swimwear – clearly a desire to extend the summer...
Curves were hinted at through transparent fabrics, lace and macramé, and accentuated by pieces in constant movement thanks to fluid cuts and fringes, which liberally decorated silhouettes here and there. Shoulders were readily exposed, legs shown off by colored tights and stockings.
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