These fashion week days are marking more and more that women are taking back a power that, for a long time, they didn’t feel they had anymore. It seems like they are saying: “ok, the world is messed up; let us take the helm of it because you men wiped everything out.” This makes sense and seems to indicate that it will be the ladies, mothers, and householders par excellence who will be able to figure out this cultural and social chaos shaking everything upside down. To do this they need the perfect outfit and the beautiful Salvatore Ferragamo show, designed by Paul Andrew and Guillaume Meilland, provides just that. The women walking on the catwalk were strong in attitude and looks. The leather was abundant, and it has been treated like a fabric in drawstringed blazers and jumpsuits together with pinstriped wools and plaid skirts with deep slits. The result was an inspiring 80s style, but not an exact replica. The men, in reverse, were cool in their being “normal”: suits, bombers, coats, oversized knitwear, duffle coats with a nerdy touch exemplified by the detail on the glasses that looked like the tape on the broken frames of a schoolboy. The Firenze house found the right direction that injects hype into tradition.
Salvatore Ferragamo Fall/Winter 2019 show in Milan. Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.
Always synonymous with the powerful woman is Giorgio Armani, the designer who expresses her strength, even if in a very delicate way. The collection’s iconic blue created a kind of motif centered around light. A nocturnal collection where lengthened and curvaceous silhouettes show an elegant wardrobe devoted to evenings. The velvety elegance added a sense of value. For the first time, the show took place in the Armani/Silos, the museum and polyfunctional space that the company built in front of Tadao Ando’s Teatro, creating an intimate atmosphere in the vast location. The rooms on the ground floor looked like an Haute Couture atelier where models walked a few inches away from the guests to let them admire every detail of the co-ed collection. The men’s part was gentle yet strong with the legendary suits that defined the men’s aesthetic through the decades. Tailoring for both genders was slim and sharp – penciled for women and more deconstructed for men. Roberto Cavalli’s new style language, imposed by Creative Director Paul Surridge, emphasizes the beauty of the women through their self-confidence: she is not afraid to look charming and glamourous. The silhouette is always narrow, and the wide palette featured hues from strong brick-red, yellow, and purple to delicate light blue and white. The signature animalier prints were reinterpreted in a stylized way that was reminiscent of Tamara de Lempicka’s art déco work. The hidden glamour present in this collection (the last look with the white tuxedo paired with a studded nude top, to mention one), that Surridge mentioned backstage, would be a modern concept from where the Maison could start to explode the potential of a modern Roberto Cavalli, but which was possibly kept too suppressed this time around.
Missoni Fall/Winter 2019 show in Milan. Photo by Alessandro Garofalo for NOWFASHION.
Missoni went back to their Mid-Seventies archives and proposed a collection made 100% with knitwear (apart from just a few fabrics for some men’s looks). The offering was sharp and clean, with the heritage of the elegant elongated silhouette of the 70s and wider enveloping volumes that wink to the early 80s: a sophisticated message that is strongly linked to the house history but that knows no nostalgia.
Agnona Fall/Winter 2019 show in Milan. Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.
A domestic grunge is what Agnona showed in the vision of Creative Director Simon Holloway. The starting point was the disrupted aesthetic of the 90s, but mixed with the inspo of Anni Albers’ textile studies, and with the luxury yarns and fabrics it looked like the feminine elegance of a relaxed and slouchy Sunday morning. The unexpected reinterpretation of that aesthetic added an interesting twist of an undeniably sophisticated collection, switching that rebellious and dirty image into rich clothes. The cozy attitude was also found in Gabriele Colangelo’s vision for the next winter. Everything starts from the ink and bleach pictorial technique, but in reverse. Instead of adding darkness to let the light emerge, the designer worked on light effects. Both styling and colors go through this process to make a balanced and laid-back look that is not new, but reassuring and chic.
Backstage at the GCDS Fall/Winter 2019 show in Milan. Photos by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.
The gender game where women ideally win is the main inspiration at Ermanno Scervino, and the field of the contest is the fabrics: pinstriped and Prince of Wales wools and houndstooth are tailored for a feminine look. This didn’t end in serious or boring outfits; the girly touches of pink and the sparking crystals which decorated the clothes kept the collection frivolous enough and catchy. Lorenzo Serafini celebrated the first half of the 90s that coincides with the years of his education. The references were clear: grungy slipdresses, lace details and full looks (the house’s signature fabric), patent and silver miniskirts, halter neck dresses, tulle gowns, and metallic touches. This look is perfectly in-tune with the young audience Serafini is talking to: girls that were born in the years of his fashion studies that never experienced those looks (and probably they do not even know where they came from) but fully enjoy the glamour of today’s hypercommunicated trend, so, if it succeeds, who cares? There was the same audience, but even more playful, at GCDS where the designer and co-founder Giuliano Calza reached another important step of his career: the new proper headquarters that upgraded the brand from an indie company into a more structured one. The signature playful style was shown through Jessica Rabbit-esque girls who walked in colourful and loud all-over prints and sexy minidresses, fake fur coats and shawls, and pure streetwear looks for the boys featuring the Pasta Barilla collabo sweaters. Suddenly the collection darkened to explain how all the expectations placed on this carefree youth become a destructive force for their minds. Everything became very goth-like, and black was the main colour in the tailored jackets, dresses, and comfy sporty looks. Not to be forgotten was the interesting Borbonese experiment of the 1910 capsule designed by M1992’s creative director Dorian Tarantini, along with Matteo Mena. The two kept the strong legacy of the OP motif for a project that became a collection that surely injects coolness into the historic Italian house and that fearlessly (and hopefully) rockets it toward today’s world of superstars followed by millions on social media.