The Wylde Edit: Milan Fashion Week AW16
Words by Kate Sinclair
Miuccia Prada's latest womenswear offering saw a continuation of themes from January's menswear show, featuring sailor-style hats and bibs. The house's signature mash-up reined supreme - opulent fur coats sat next to tough, functional pieces, which were in turn contrasted with whimsical floral prints. This collection, an exploration of strong women and their multifaceted roles was layered with meaning: varied, complex and at times subversive. Keys and miniature diaries strung round necks suggested restraint and secrets, steel roses connoted strong beauty, while usually restrictive corsets, worn loosely round the waist, defied expectation and tradition. Rebellious, tough elements were softened by elongated feminine silhouettes and delicate prints designed by artist Christophe Chemin. This season, Prada's intriguing woman is dressed for adventure.
Described as a fusion of Princess Diana and Siouxsie Sioux, elegant sweetness meshed with anarchic punk rock at Philosophy. Delicate chiffon blouses were paired with leather skirts and eighties-style baggy trousers. Romantic sheer dresses were toughened up with studded belts & knee-high boots. As always, Serafini's knits added a luxurious element, in the form of oversized punky striped jumpers & knitted frill detailing. However, it was his selection of stunning dresses that stole the show; some were billowing and sheer with ruffles galore, whilst others were luxurious and prim, in lace-trimmed velvet. Who wouldn't want to join Philosophy's girl gang?
The geeky Gucci girl of seasons past has evolved: she is tougher and has developed a brazen attitude, even more daring than her already eccentric self. This season Alessandro Michele explored Sign Systems and the codes contained within clothing. With this in mind, we saw a mishmash of historical references - Sixties minis and Seventies pussy-bow blouses, elements of Eighties sportswear, Elizabethan pearls, modern interpretations of dresses from the early 1900's & the use of contemporary logos. Exploring the history of imitation Gucci, Michele collaborated with Trouble Andrew aka Gucci Ghost, to create their own "counterfeit" pieces by painting logos on to garments and spray painting the word 'real' above the actual brand logo. Familiar yet modern, chic yet humorous, luxurious without straying into gaudy - Michele's covetable, inherently special pieces already feel like treasured heirlooms.
There was a simplicity to Thomas Maier's AW collection that satisfyingly contrasted to the somewhat overwhelming display of extravagantly layered and embellished offerings seen elsewhere this season. The emphasis lay in softness and movement, channelled through the use of luxurious fabrics to create long, lean silhouettes. Relaxed tailoring, cozy knits and tweed ensembles exemplified chic, wearable options for the season ahead, with waiting-list-worthy accessories to match. However, it was the sensuous fine knit nude numbers towards the end of the collection that caught our eye; simple, ethereal and beautiful.
Marni's surprising key piece for the season came in the form of high waisted stirrup leggings, paired with dramatic shirt sleeves that billowed, ballooned and gathered to create an abstract yet sophisticated outcome. These key features were layered in a colourful combination of cropped sweaters, bloc jackets with chunky fur collars, minimal capes and cut-out dresses, all in a palette of muted military tones spliced with opulent jewel colours. Marni wouldn't be Marni without off-kilter, ladylike accessories: pearl drop earrings, embellished bags, and elegant 'lady' court shoes added both sophistication and subversion to proceedings.