With the news that Karl Lagerfeld had sadly passed away on the morning of the start of Milan Fashion week, there was undoubtedly a shadow cast across not only the week, but the rest of the season. He is said to have given notes on the Fendi show even the day before his death. He was a true professional. What a show; a real tribute to such an icon. The other big houses also produced some of my favourite shows of the week, with Etro, Max Mara, Prada and Marni making up my top 5. Versace narrowly missed out even though I loved the show which was colourful and sexy while also having a hard edge.
Lagerfeld’s touch could definitely be felt in the collection. The high collars and the interlinked double F logo that he created in 1981 being just a few of the Lagerfeld signatures. There are so many looks that were simply beautiful, combining sharply tailored coats and jackets with sheer translucent flowing skirts, dresses and skirts. The two dresses worn by the Hadid sisters are perfection, light and delicate while still managing to be bold and powerful, I especially loved the look with the logoed bodysuits layered underneath. The collection was impeccable as you would expect and a tribute to the work of such an icon. It will be interesting to see where Silvia Venturini Fendi and her team take the fashion house next.
The show was inspired by Etro’s grandmothers paisley robe and the nostalgia is evident throughout the collection, with an antique feeling from the prints through to the buckle detailing. There was a warm homely feeling with big chunky knits, either tucked into skirts or belted, but this was also interwoven with glamour and baroque influences. The gold cape in particular was a truly stand-out piece, as were the draped skirts. What I loved about this show was the feeling of wearability that came through layering, and the practicality of the buckled boots shown with many of the looks.
When I saw the picture of the trio of models heading down the Max Mara runway in head to toe monochrome brights, the show had my full attention. What followed was a rainbow of looks, from winter whites all the way through a spectrum of sophisticated camels and browns, even including tiger prints through to monochrome black. The collection was centred on empowering women and it certainly felt like any woman wearing these clothes would feel powerful, with each look featuring a similar silhouette. There were stand-out tailored coats, knitwear, loose tailored trousers and modest skirts, none of which would be out of place in a working power-dressing wardrobe. The fact that each look was monochrome made them particularly striking and killer thigh-high matching boots really completed the look.
The Prada show was influenced by romance and fear as well as a theme that has been evident in many other shows this season, war. There were the standard military inspired pieces however a slightly quirkier influence of Frankenstein ensured that this collection wasn’t just fully based around utility but incorporated the more romantic elements of lace and flowers. Another romantic item was the Dorothy-esque bejewelled red pumps which sparkled down the runway. I love the juxtaposition of the lace with khaki and masculine shapes and in particular the man’s shirt covered in a lace overlay. There were some more feminine silhouettes paired with the heavier wool fabrics and military hardware in coats and dresses adding further contrast and resulting in some beautiful pieces.
Similar to Miuccia Prada, Francesco Risso channelled a dark theme for the Marni collection, exploring pleasure without guilt. He invited the audience to open their mind to possibilities and mixed rational and irrational with a dose of eroticism. The silk dresses and skirts really stood out in the collection, mixing elegant pleating and draping with brash colours and pixelated designs. I particularly like the bold yellow colours, a welcome addition to the many red pieces that have dominated the runway this season.