Published: Thursday February 28, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday May 8, 2013 MYT 1:47:13 PM

Eventful drama from Milan Fashion Week

From Bond girls to Mohicans and a Janet Jackson frenzy, Milan Fashion Week proved to be eventful.

MOHICANS strutted down the Fendi catwalk at Italy’s fashion week recently, in a visually provocative show set to The Prodigy’s Fire Starter which left the snowy world of Milan far behind.

Fendi’s models emerged from behind a giant door which swung down at the start, kicking off a spectacle which payed homage to furs and feathers.

Their hair done in French plaits, each sported a Mohican hairband in shades of electric blues and oranges – which matched the fluffy, fur-lined arms on their sunglasses, colourful fur cuff bands on wrists and soft, shaggy bags.

Black and white dominated the autumn-winter 2013 collection – from short snakeskin jackets to loose white trousers and skirts worn to the knee.

The two- or three-tone outfits – such as dresses made of leather on one side and wool on the other, or tight dress silhouettes softened with a cape – came out in blocks of colours, predominately shocking pinks and rich wine purples.

Fendi director Karl Lagerfeld’s collection, which he baptised Icons Unchained, gave a fresh spin to the house’s previous feathered creations – though a black and blue skirt did bring to mind Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster.

Shoes were black high-heeled booties and lace-ups trimmed with white fur.

The German-born Lagerfeld, 79, who has his own fashion label and is also the creative director at Chanel, emerged after the show in his trademark sunglasses, ponytail hair and black leather gloves to a standing ovation.

Founded in 1925 in Rome, Fendi is now owned by French luxury giant LVMH.

Dominatrix punk

Italian fashion icon Donatella Versace brought her own spin to punk, unveiling a collection dominated by fierce outfits in shiny black, white, or lipstick red vinyls and deadly accessories.

“I started thinking, what would we call the new punk today? This collection is my answer. It is sexy, strong, brave and full of energy,” she said.

The autumn/winter 2013 collection, dubbed VUNK by the label (Versace punk), opened with a black vinyl corset swimsuit, fastened with a white fur clasp at the neck, and worn under an open, oversized coat with towering heels.

Punk met dominatrix as brightly coloured monotone outfits in shiny vinyl, often slit open across the upper chest, stormed down the stark white catwalk.

Men, be warned. The new Versace woman is not to be crossed: long and very sharp-looking silver or diamante spikes graced most outfits, worn as chokers or clasps, while extra large nails were used as earrings or ornaments on dresses.

The silver adornments so loved by Donatella, the sister of the late fashion legend Gianni Versace, also graced shoulder bags, while boots were studded.

It was not all about the vinyl: there were fur coats and small jackets in bumble-bee yellows and blacks, and the label said new interpretations of animal prints had been developed for Versace by American artists The Haas Brothers.

There were also tartan kilts in black and white, worn with thigh-high boots.

But it was hard to get away from it. Even black woollen coats had vinyl lapels, and an evening dress featuring a spider web motif, a recurring trend this season in Milan, had panels of vinyl inserted down the front and back.

Perhaps the most eye-catching creation was a fetish-inspired silver harness, which stretched – spikes and all – from a choker at the neck down to the waist, with two belts running across chest and midriff, worn over punk T-shirts.

Play on skiwear

Etro was well prepared for the snow blanketing Milan, unveiling a collection which gave a twist to skiwear, reworking the brand’s traditional prints for modernist creations.

Designer Veronica Etro said her autumn/winter 2013 collection aimed to create “a decorative yet strong vision of femininity, where a powerful woman freely travels and customises, creating her own sense of history and identity.”

Wherever the Etro woman is going, it is cold: necklines are high, sweaters are woollen polo necks, and jackets are oversized and seem to have been plucked straight from the ski slopes, before being jazzed up in satin or with prints.

Coats and trousers were padded, and shoulders on shirts were enhanced.

Some creations were strictly to be worn indoors, maybe at apres ski parties.

Clinging, sensual dresses in splashes of grape, cranberry and coral had sections cut away at the hips, side or back, or were open along the collarbone.

A luxurious camel coat with a black fur collar was surprisingly sleeveless.

For daytime, check or paisley jackets in autumn greens, oranges and browns were paired with black trousers, while short, black woollen jackets with leather arms were matched with red leather trousers with geometrical inserts.

For the evening, dresses and jumpers starring constellations and web-like motifs made of micro bead embroideries stood out, as did a yellow and black striped dress which clung to the wearer and drew many ahhhs from the audience.

Large zips in gold or silver were on show – also trend in Milan this season.

Spies like us

Prada transformed 1950s American housewives into would-be Bond girls, with a lethally seductive look which gave a powerful twist to the classic hourglass dress.

Checkered dresses in red and white or baby blue were the collection’s mainstay, pulled in at the waist by wide or slim gold or silver belts, but slit open at the bodice’s neckline, as if ripped by an amorous James Bond.

Sleeves to just below the elbow ended in large fur cuffs and every hemline on the catwalk was asymmetrical, sweeping around the body to show bare calves.

Daywear merged with night-time glamour, with exquisitely embroidered and glittering panels inserted into brown, grey or checkered hourglass dresses.

As well as little black numbers, there were dresses with vertical stripes in red and green and parcels of colour, such as wide red or blue skirt hems.

A brown fur jacket was paired with a red leather skirt and flat black shoes.

The setting was theatrical: The autumn-winter 2013 collection by the Milanese company, which started out in 1913 as a luggage maker for Italy’s kings, was held in a transformed former warehouse at Prada headquarters.

Video images projected onto the walls alongside the runway showed a mysterious woman, in silhouette, who lingered at the doorway of her house, running her hands through her hair and looking wistfully out down the road.

What she was planning to do if Bond did show is anyone’s guess: but there was a hint in some of Prada’s more revealing creations, such as a brown see-through number worn over black pants with a golden zip down to the crotch.

Causing a riot

American star Janet Jackson’s front row appearance at the Roberto Cavalli show threw photographers into such a frenzy that they had to be physically hauled off the catwalk.

Whistles and cat calls filled the air and the audience was roused for drama, which the Florentine luxury house conjured up with an autumn-winter 2013 collection mixing war apparel with a homage to Renaissance art.

Nearly every item was embellished with studs or delicate chains to create an armour effect and miniskirts were pleated, echoing Roman Centurion kilts.

Black and silver tuxedos, slim trousers and tweed tops gave way to oversized fur coats, jackets and suits in bold splashes of colour – violets, burgundies, blues and yellows – evoking the messy rainbows on painters’ pallets.

Intricate flower prints covered trousers and satin shirts, and Cavalli’s models wore large earrings, necklaces and brooches featuring snakes and eagles.

On top of the military look, the brand unveiled a series of 1920s-style low-waisted sleeveless dresses, jazzed up with sparkling beads for the evening. –AFP

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, Milan Fashion Week, Fashion


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