It's August so you know what that means - fashion week is officially only a month away so all eyes are on the various schedules and Milan seems to be the one with the most changes. As we previously reported, Giorgio Armani has moved his shows from their usual spot and today WWD pointed out that that's not the only brand shaking things up.
Jil Sander is notably missing from the schedule. 'According to a published report in La Repubblicca, Jil Sander opted out of inclusion in the calendar and will hold two shows independently,' the title reports. But the changes don't end there. Several brands have pushed their shows forward leaving the last two days of shows pretty empty due to fears that editors will leave for Paris early. Maybe Sander had the same concern. Either way, her comeback womenswear collection will no doubt attract a full, and very excited, house.
The fashion week schedules are slowly being released and last week WWD managed to get a look at the schedule for Milan. The biggest change is that Giorgio Armani has moved both his shows from their usual spot on Monday morning to 7pm and 8pm on Sunday September 23.
Back in May, the designer told WWD that he was 'planning a presentation of some of his past designs' from the past ten years but didn't give a time frame. Naturally, then, the title assumed that the reason behind the date change was the unveiling of the restrospective presentation. When they reached out to the brand for confirmation, they declined to comment but I think there's might be some truth to the speculation. Over the past year the designer has been a lot more forthcoming as far as being featured in interviews is concerned so maybe the exhibition is the a considered element of the brand's increased public presence this year.
The charm of Peter Dundas' work at Emilio Pucci is that he takes risks - big ones - but where he goes the rest of us follow. Last season was all about sexy gypsies and while I vowed to give up all things peasant several years ago, he instantly had me convinced. This season though was less about taking risks. Following from the more toned down aesthetic we've seen in Milan this week at brands like Gucci and Versace, the Pucci girl was a lot more covered up and refined this season and it worked.
Menswear features were apparent throughout especially on the outwerwear, which often came in the scaled over oversized shapes that have dominated this season. A fur collared duffle coat was particularly good as was a boxy peacoat and beaver coat, which all came in black. The more statement outerwear pieces were the patent leather and alligator skin styles that reminded me of something Alexander Wang would do and a black tuxedo worn by Aymeline Valade that is making me want to go on the hunt for a trouser suit now.
But it wasn't all masculine. It is the Pucci girl we're talking about after all so naturally there was a bit of skin on show. This season the thigh high slits that we expect from the brand were there but on the whole any flash of skin came under sheer black transparencies on sleeves or cut outs on dresses in a way that was more seductive than overtly sexual.
With their H&M collection set to drop on March 8, all eyes are on Marni. While the brand has served as the industry's best kept secret for several years now, their partnership with the high street retailer means that this fall collection is the one that will the mainstream will take notice of. For that reason it was interesting that Consuelo Castiglioni continued to the movement away from the brand's signature prints that she started for spring. Don't get me wrong - prints were there but were less prominent that what we've seen from the brand in the past.
Instead the emphasis was on block colours which commonly came in variations of red, black, mint and grey with flashes of black. Trousers were tailored but cropped in a similar length that we saw at Paul Smith. Dresses had a real '60s feeling to them and jackets were updated with big pockets that were similar to the ones we saw at Burberry but far more flattering. Rather than continuing the floral theme that she explored extensively last season, a red rose came on only one dress but was enlarged making what would otherwise have been a very simple dress look more interesting. Textures were mixed as fur stoles often came styled over heavy wools or patent leather belted outerwear.
The Just Cavalli collection started off on the conservative side compared to the designer's usual more-is-more aesthetic but that wasn't a bad thing. The colour palette was monochromatic and came on striped floaty dresses, spray on houndstooth leggings, feminine blouses and a great checked coat with sheer sleeves.
As the collection progressed, though, the Cavalli signatures began to emerge. Leopard print was everywhere and came in various shapes and colours on blouses and skinny trousers teamed with gold lurex blazers with black satin lapels. While the statement pieces will no doubt go down well with his young party loving customer, I was disappointed that he didn't push the signatures forward. The brand's fall 2011 collection proved what could happen when he does just that, so it was a shame to see him slip back into the brand's comfort zone this season.
The Max Mara show was really strong this season. The brand always manages to stick with it's signatures, like their emphasis on outerwear and camel toned classics, whilst also introducing new themes and references.
For fall, this was an interest in military which was a fitting reference considering the emphasis on outerwear. They came in the oversized scaled up styles that we've seen a lot of this season with great bell sleeves styled over army green shirts, tailored shorts and a crocodile belt. The sailor references translated on the hats and striped tops that came along with dungarees or tucked into cropped tailored trousers.
Every other day we're woken up with reports of Italy's mounting sovereign debt amidst fears that it is on the brink of going bust. The dark mood at the Gucci show yesterday, then, seemed to make sense. Quite like for the fall menswear collection that we saw last month, Frida Giannini cited nineteenth century decadence and the dark romance of that era as the source of inspiration for her women's wear show yesterday. While many criticised the men's show for lacking something extra, the women's line more than made up for it.
Winter is undoubtedly much harder to dress for compared to the warmer months but Giannini made it a lot easier by using a mix of luxurious winter fabrics and textures alongside sheer chiffons to make sure that you can keep warm next season without throwing your sartorialleanings out the window.The collection was full of plush jacquards, ultra luxe stamped velvet coats, classic black leather riding boots, oversized fur and feathered skirts and jackets. The colour palette was the perfect combination of black with hints of plum and varying shades of rich greens, blues and reds. The romanticism was transparent particularly on the evening dresses that were predominantly black and sheer with carefully placed embroidery. There were no fuss and frills involved but rather, each piece exuded a quiet authority and power in a Riccardo Tisci or John Rocha kind of way.