Stick with the best you can do, and it will become timeless. Trends are ephemeral and, if not rooted in a solid ground, they have no future. Tod’s, part of the Della Valle Group, perfectly exemplifies this strategy: season by season it evolved in order to reach the maximum level of luxury. Forget fashion gimmicks when Mister Diego Della Valle is part of the game. Attracting flamboyant audiences is not the final goal; here, the collection was focused on high-quality materials, craftsmanship, and clothes. A wardrobe for every day with no useless frills, but just some tactful decoration like the nappa intarsia on skirts, dresses, and a coat. Then it was a celebration of femininity and elegance: half pleated dresses and pleated skirts, bermudas paired with soft leather jackets with zippers on the shoulders that gave a stronger touch to the look. But the Tod's woman loves to put a touch of eccentricity to her classic look with a zebra print skirt and coat and the snap-hooked, bright-coloured little bag or flat leather slip-on worn in a very classy way.
Two world collided in the universe of Veronica Etro, womenswear designer of the family brand. "I imagined posh pirates and aristo groupies that dress mixing the tailored pieces with the ethnic items they collected during their trips in the famous hippy locations of the 70s like Tangier, Ibiza, Goa," Veronica explained backstage. "Their endless trips created a wardrobe for elegant and aristocratic yet rebellious women. They love to feel free, sexy, love nature and adventure," she continued. The airy printed dresses and the strong traditional details from different cultures concealed a bit the two worlds Veronica Etro wanted to show. This summer collection went back to the old codes of the maison, losing that hint of freshness presented last season.
An injection of colours and tropicalism energized the Marni show by Francesco Risso. The carnival of colourful balloon-shaped dresses was the leitmotif of the whole collection that was mainly based on cotton and, for the finale, taffetas from the archive that will be used to produce limited editions of made-to-order pieces. The classic large blouses of South American women were chopped and become new items around which the collection was built. "I was inspired by Brazil, the colours of its festive moments and its nature." It was clear, and the result seen on the catwalk was positive and funny, but it was also clear that in the moodboard there were a lot of images of Comme des Garçons silhouettes and constructions.
This season, Marco de Vincenzo challenged himself: he decided to not mix colours in each outfit, which is his signature touch, but created a rainbow through the whole collection using a single color for each look. "It was ten years that I wanted to do a collection like this, but I never found the right way that really made me happy. Now I found it: I focused on the textures and materials instead of mixing different nuances in one look,” explained the designer backstage. The palette of the all models together was amazing, spanning from black to purple. It was a human rainbow that symbolized inclusivity in every sense: "There are 47 women, every one has a different character and soul. Some are friends, others are models from all around the world." This collection was well-balanced and elegant and it brought back to the designer his capacity to create the magic with fluctuating light fabrics and textures that in the last few collections was a bit lost.
Sportmax stayed loyal to his codes, but their classic structured tailoring has been reinterpreted with a new spirit that made it lighter. The inside-out constructions and the decomposition of the jackets were the trick, but the materials were not traditionally from the men's wardrobe. The suit was not in its traditional form, but the classic elements were substituted with spencer jackets or waistcoats or combined with bermudas and miniskirts instead of trousers. Leather details were recurring in many looks, but it reminded us a bit too much of Jean Paul Gaultier's unforgettable Hermès.
This year, Versace celebrated the 20th anniversary of the "Jungle Print" and its dress that became an iconic item when worn by Jennifer Lopez. During the Grammy Award evening in 2000, she was photographed wearing it, and the whole world started to search for that image on the web and the company from Mountain View registered the biggest web search ever made to date. That was the moment when Google decided to open the image search section that we all now known as Google Images. The that was a historical moment and J.Lo closed the show with a plot twist, surprising the instantly venerating audience. The show was not only about the American singer, but also about the clothes. "When I started to think about this collection, I thought about a woman during her day, her work life, the time she spends with her family and when she goes out," explained Donatella Versace before the show. "There will be a lot of black and, of course, the jungle print." The black was there, and it was the glue that held the collection together, but storytelling was pretty different than reality as the strong (today's) Versace style constructions with the big shoulders, micro skirts, and spiky heels frankly were not meant for everyday life.
Frankie Morello is trying to find a new identity, changing again the direction. After it was purchased by the Italian oil company Ludoil owned by the Ammaturo family, stylewise the brand went through less than exciting circumstances. After the Sci-Fi space shows and Plein-esque studded collections this season, they U-turned and hired Damir Doma as Artistic Director to reinvent their codes. Actually, the Croatian-born and German-raised designer is very far from what the brand has been to date, but he accepted the challenge. Today, in the debut co-ed collection the conceptual touch of Doma was clear. He completely cleaned the excesses from the past, giving more discretion to the look. Tailoring mixed with light nylon utilitarian pockets vests, knitwear, blurred flower prints on pleated dresses, and some denim pieces that actually could be the keystone to build the next steps. At first sight, it looked like a difficult marriage, but at least the designer completely changed the style. He will need time to understand if he will get in tune with the company.
Anna Molinari, backstage at Blumarine, stated that, for her, the higher form of elegance is kindness. This is mirrored by the tact of dressing properly. That's why she devoted this collection to all the shades of her favorite flowers and kept it clean with shiny earrings as the only details. The designer took back the helm of her brand two seasons ago after some unfocused collections were leading the brand down a dangerous path. She injected the clothes with her enviable strength and passion, but there would need to be more fresh blood to turn these iconic codes of a glorious Italian brand into something in tune with today.