A Return to Real Life

The speed of our world often makes us forget our past, our roots. Brands and designers chase things that aren’t worth it or that aren’t what they really need to focus on, in order to make the right move. But a company must be very structured to go through these difficult years. “In this Emporio Armani collection, I simply went back to my past and reworked it in order to make it contemporary,” explained Giorgio Armani after the show. His vision of beauty is the one we saw on the catwalk, but he added, “I feel that nowadays there are many different ideas of it.” So, this season he chose lightness and proposed a woman that seemed to be wearing just air with a floaty mix of different textures and surfaces. The designer refrained from using prints, and this option added even a touch of giddiness to the collection seeking also a kind of purity. "I felt that in this complex world there is the desire to be more normal; we all should be more normal." And relaxed, I would add. The palette was the mirror of this mindset and it was pale and transparent in the hues of powder pink, aquamarine, sky blue mixed with greige, cornflower blue, and acid green as well as metal meshes and different sized paillettes sparkled here and there, enhancing the brightness. When Armani reinterprets his own codes in subtraction instead of addition, the result is always fresh. The real skill is to rewrite the heritage without being too nostalgic or repetitive. In the end, fashion is also this evolving stillness. 

"It's my first collection without Karl (Lagerfeld) and I wanted to follow the same process we used to do for 54 years. But I added a more personal touch starting from my emotions," explained Silvia Venturini Fendi before the show. “First of all, as a woman that designs clothes for women, I wanted to be more close to real life, as normal as possible, trying to be more connected with reality and everyday life. I played with more comfortable accessories, like the shoes with large heels that allow women to not feel climbed on a perch but more confident. The personal feelings that gave me a sense of normality drove my inspiration: a sunrise or a sunset, freedom or spending time with people I love." The relaxed mood came out on the catwalk and the collection looked overly relaxed and simple, a warm summer mood of an Italian morning made everything more intimate. The look was cleaner and had less build up than the Karl era, could this be Silvia's new touch? Actually, fashion is chasing a new normal more and more as a reaction to the difficult world we are living in, so this simple approach could be made more welcome. But simplicity doesn't mean weakness, and the Fendi women was strong enough to feel more daring showing her femininity with see-through net dresses or light chiffons and deep cleavages. 

Strong but not striking is the perfect balance of today's woman for Max Mara. The "Killing Eve" series – written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the English playwright, producer, and writer – really inspired me and I hope that she will use the same approach for the next James Bond movie that she co-wrote and will be out next year," said Ian Griffith, Creative Director at Max Mara. He conceived the wardrobe for an imaginary movie where the protagonist is a kind of secret agent woman. She admires the style of the 007, but she's not on the same page with the way he acts, so no dangerous car chases or gun fires but she maneuvers her adversary into surrender through a series of dodging. And her wardrobe is in the same direction; utilitarian pockets were in almost every outfit of the signature tailoring, but even if the look was right it was maybe a bit too repetitive as all the collection was set on outerwear. 

The second collection of Daniel Lee, Creative Director at Bottega Veneta, "evolves the codes we are building in the brand. We are focusing on process and clarity, immediate and direct." While the debut collection was more disrupting and daring, this looked a bit hesitant. The leitmotifs were simple: the knitted dresses layered and knotted in a different way, the oversized tailoring on jackets and trenchcoats, close-fitting knee-length dresses. The leather was present because of the heritage of the fashion house and it was soft calf. The rich and bold palette spanned from black and chocolate brown to vivid orange and tones of blue with a touch of sparkling in the three paillettes dresses. Of course accessories were present in a full supply in every size, from big strap bags to lacquered clutches, from sunglasses to sandals, mules and décolletées. As the designer said, this is a second step in a path that defines a new identity of Bottega Veneta, but it's important to not be suffocated by the commercial needs that often risk killing the creativity.

In less than 3 years Galib Gassanoff and Luca Lin, the designers behind the brand Act N.1, reached 1.2 million in revenues. Theirs is a strong vision deeply rooted in their origins (Azerbaijani and Chinese) mixed with the Italian and western aesthetics. A duality that reflected the double personalities of the two. The collection was very feminine with big volumes in sleeves and shirts, but this was well balanced and not too exaggerated. The mix of Chinese and masculine shirts, wedding and slip dresses attached to hoodies gave a hint of wise jollity to the dramatic yet emotional setting instead of a fading streetwear nostalgia. 

The power woman in the vision of Gilda Ambrosio and Giorgia Tordini for The Attico is from Milano and has a two-faced identity: a strong and confident, busy person that manages her business in a tailored suit and stiletto heels who, at night, turns into a sweet talker in the speakeasy of a fancy Chinese restaurant. The story is a wise trick to cover the whole day proposals from morning to night: so from day-glo tailoring to Chinoiserie, from cut out cheongsams that show the hips to outrageously short miniskirts and dresses and the entire The Attico feisty repertoire updated to the Summer 2020. The two girls perfectly envisioned the need of today’s fashion lovers (both press and customers) to tell a story through the images of the modern media. The presentation was cool but, if seen through the lenses of social media, both the clothes and the atmosphere looked like a magic Eastern movie. This is what made the duo so successful and, as the world evolves, they deserve it for their capacity to read the present needs.

The artworks of the Cubist masters like Picasso and Braque took to life on the Moschino catwalk. It was Spain of the toreadors and their uniforms decorated with prints of exclusive and unique brush strokes plus the flamenco spotted dress that Jeremy Scott is obsessed with. The first colourful moment of the American designer turned more conceptual, bringing the women’s destructured faces and printing them on a long black dress or a women's tuxedo. Imagine taking the famous cubist guitar painting and turning it into a 3D version with Kaia Gerber wearing it. Everything was framed with golden baroque décors that became a painting dress, each for their own signature extravaganza.

Photo by Germain Berent

 

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