Home > Lifestyle > Women > Fashion
Thursday September 26, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday September 26, 2013 MYT 8:37:48 AM
by suzy menkes
From the moment that Roberto Cavalli revealed his stage set of a film studio, the show was linked to the silver screen. – AFP
References to art, from ceramics to cinema, are the rage on the Milan runways.
SWEET almond blossom, appliquéd over dresses and wrapped in the hair, confronted the cold, hard, round, gold coins.
Ancient ruins were digitally printed on fabric, their ribbed pillars also serving as shoe heels. Was this fashion charm or total chaos at Dolce & Gabbana as the Milan spring 2014 season drew to a close?
“Satyricon!” said Stefano Gabbana backstage, referring to Federico Fellini’s 1969 movie with its fantastical vision of ancient Rome. The designer was with his business partner, Domenico Dolce, as they tried to explain the metaphors of this weird, but rather beautiful collection.
It started with an idyllic scene of nature, trees in spring bloom on the runway – just as they appeared later as prints and decoration. But soon came photo prints of noble pillars in artistic ruins, a theme the duo has used recently to link themselves to Sicilian roots and Italian heritage.
The silhouettes were fairly familiar Dolce & Gabbana fodder: long slim dresses set against the short and curvy. By the end of the show, there was a march of money – an imaginary chink of coins accompanied the short gilded dresses, lacy shorts, cropped tops and brief skirts – each cinched by a wide belt with a golden coin centre front.
Whether it was a metaphor (greedy bankers, the designers’ current problems with the tax authorities, or just the idea that money makes the fashion world go ’round), there was an energy to the show and a feeling of intense design madness. And it reinforced a feeling throughout the Milan season: that references to art, from ceramics to cinema, are centrestage.
“It was inspired by late 19th-century clothes, taking inspiration from different places and working on fabrics,” said Tomas Maier of his Bottega Veneta show.
The designer, enraptured by the Impressionism, Fashion And Modernity exhibition that he saw this spring at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, set out to enrich his vision of the streamlined and simple with the cascading frills and furbelows of that era. The result was extraordinary – one of the best collaborations between art and fashion so far this season.
Maier caught with exceptional vision the Belle Époque drapes and folds: tiny fans of pleating at the side of a draped dress, butterfly-wing layers on a bodice and ripples and ruches down a long skirt.
Yet never did a single outfit in the collection look like Edwardian costume or a reintroduction of the bustle. The designer instead drew from the femininity of the era, but balanced with asymmetry in design and with dark and pale colours: deep shades of eggplant, rust and salmon, balanced with muddy, misty shades. There was a sense of Impressionist dresses reworked in a modern skill set to make an exceptional and memorable collection.
The big surprise at Jil Sander was the artistic abstraction of pattern like splashes of print on a canvas of geometrically cut clothes. The designer cited the Italian Arte Povera artist Alighiero Boetti, whose map embroideries might have been the inspiration for a trip of modernist prints on simple clothes.
The all-over pattern was a departure. Yet the collection seemed coherent and the transparent plexiglass “walls” dividing up the runway could have been a metaphor for clothes that appeared to be separated, yet were conjoined.
The show opened with black and white separates, sculpted tops widening over the hips or a cropped top and skirt with bare skin between the two. To this game of proportions, Sander added texture, as in a shiny skirt or silken fringing swaying. Yet it was the prints that stayed in the mind, because they were so far from the showy, blown-up prints seen elsewhere and Sander seemed to make them her own.
Getting high on Hollywood is not a new fashion idea. But from the moment that Roberto Cavalli revealed his stage set of a film studio, the show was linked to the silver screen.
And how! Starting with clothes for the Happy Hour, silver sirens took to the runway, shimmering in outfits that were a literal take on the silver screen.
“It’s about romantic women – the romance of the cinema,” said Cavalli, whose models in pale, powdery pink and silver grey looked like they had stepped off the set of the Oscar-winning French movie The Artist.
For the Cavalli clothes, this night at the movies meant a gentler and more ambivalent attitude to sexiness, which made for a pretty and easy collection. There were sinuous dresses, perhaps with a fur stole thrown over one shoulder and airy caftans in pale blue chiffon. The workmanship was intense but subtle, making the collection nostalgic but nice.
Japanese pottery – the ancient raku ceramic technique – was the inspiration for Gabriele Colangelo, who recreated the glaze and sheen and the veins of colour through what the designer called “a language of textiles”.
This was Italian craft at its most effective, giving three-dimensional effects to slim and simple silhouettes. Sudden patches of shine, as rough and silken threads met, were already marvels of workmanship. Then there was the fur, Colangelo’s family tradition. His use of shiny pony skin and shaved mink made this a collection of rare refinement.
Gaia Trussardi took a plain approach to designing for her family brand, opening with a cropped-jacket pantsuit. She brought tailoring, as well as the house’s leather, into focus.
But even the mix of pimento red and sky blue could not help the collection to rise above the ordinary. – IHT
Let's get physical with Gucci
Tags / Keywords:
Lifestyle, Milan Fashion Week, 2013, designers
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)