MILANO+NEW YORK #28
WOMEN COLLECTIONS – AUTUMN/WINTER 2019.20
Milano and New York women collections details in the biggest existing size
Milan takes the form of a story. It writes, describes and rewrites on pages. The collections were film scripts, screenplays or scores for solo voices. Subject matters. Monologues. Stories. Fairy tales. Narratives. Words were stitched into fabrics as basting stitches, repairs and embroideries. Clothes were visual alphabets, material syllabaries, lyrical, poetic, filled with ideas, images and suggestions. Designers made their apparel statement, a reading-book of textile, spiritual and sartorial stimuli. Every artist named his or her work and every collection had a title or name entirely similar to an idea from a book, novel, film or concept album. Sounds grew on the runway. Distorted riffs. Guitar. Bass. Drums. The shows were a homage to music and to disorder. They presented the chaotic scores of an Elevated Grunge. Revealed piercings, studs, chains and padlocks. Showed off ripped and brocade fabrics. Silk and safety pins. Tartan and straps were interwoven and overlapped like polyphonic layers. A call to the nineties invaded the runways – a reverberation, a reflection of a sound and aesthetic wave. The story continued. It turned sweet and light. Small and delicate. Minute. Suitable for keeping in a jewellery box. A lullaby. A fairy tale to wake up to. A Music Box. A little girl’s room. A cradle for porcelain dolls. A wunderkammer. Ethereal little ladies walked the runway. They had the pale skin of Botticelli’s women. They danced and twirled among pearls and velvet, like ballerinas in romantic music boxes. Intimacy and eternity. The stories later crystallised on leather and cashmere. Robust enough to withstand the cold, time and forgetfulness. Milan told the tale of the far north, the icy Arctic Sea, a new Pop Arctic region. A frozen runway. The light recalls the aurora borealis, the swirling winter sky, magenta reflections, intense green, orange and turquoise. The dawn and the midnight sun. The glimmer of light on the horizon. A story that never ends. A thread that links the edges of the panorama to the edges of the page. A plot without boundaries. An aptitude for literature. Material poetry.
Garments: trenches, coats, down jackets, cloaks, ponchos, parkas, sweatshirts, cardigans, sweaters, blazers, tuxedos, blouses, suits, wide leg trousers, pencil skirts, mini-skirts, mini-dresses, long dresses, slip dresses, baby dolls, bustiers, lingerie, veils, scarves, chador, obi belts.
Materials: brocade, upholstery, velvet, cashmere, alpaca, Japanese wool, felt, tweed, check, tartan, houndstooth, denim, leather, reptile, suede, faux zebra, eco fur, shearling, fur, lace, tulle, silk, satin, lurex, latex, nylon, Plexiglas, eco down.
Details: destructured, asymmetry, draping, swellings, padding, XXL volumes, defined shoulders, nipped waist, fraying, fringing, feathers, chains, studs, piercings, buckles, chunky zips, pearls, sequins, crystals, bows, floral prints, roses, bellflowers, shoots, Frankenstein, Walt Disney, Snow White, banknotes, hearts, pixel motifs, animal patterns.
Colours: precious such as emerald, jade, sapphire, pink quartz, amethyst, ruby; primary such as red, yellow, blue, pop, orange, fuchsia, lime; natural such as vanilla, mustard, olive, tobacco, ice, platinum, black, white.
Who knows why we are accustomed to associating winter with dark and neutral tones, as though low temperatures and poor light had an influence over our colour choices, when the opposite should be true – surely wearing bright, bold tints would counter the gloominess of winter. The designers must have thought the same in New York, where the latest Autumn/Winter shows demonstrated a clear leaning towards colour, real vibrant colour, the one that illuminates the face and warms up even the chilliest New York day, where snowstorms and sub-zero temperatures are the norm in winter. As well as bright colours, designers also explored a decorative drive, also more often associated with summer, when blossoming nature tends to spread onto the clothes, in addition to hints of Oriental culture. Wes Gordon for Carolina Herrera stamped the colour and decoration themes clearly from the very first look, with a bright yellow and azure floral print on a long trapeze dress, also introducing another hot theme in these shows and those across the ocean: oversize. Marc Jacobs pumped up the volume on outerwear and dresses, further enlarged by crinolines with added animal motifs, cascades of feathers, flounces and frills. There were lots of embellishments and vibrant tints in Cynthia Rowley’s show, which offered a series of cocktail and evening dresses with a Seventies feel. The decade’s continuing influence on the runways was also felt by Kate Spade New York, which offered bright nuances ranging from yellow to emerald green to purple on animal patterns and satin surfaces. Michael Kors was also charmed by the ’70s, especially that glam side represented by his nights at Studio 54, as seen in layered looks topped with voluminous faux fur, fake feather boas, military pieces, floral prints and iridescent sequins and laminated fabrics. There was more bold colour and decoration at Coach 1941 in its collection inspired by the needlepoint and knitted work of American artist Frank Havrah “Kaffe” Fassett. Psychedelic patterns featured on chiffon mini-dresses worn with shearling or faux fur jackets and with oversize bermuda shorts in a play of layering that created a bright, dynamic look. Artsy references were paired with colours and patterns in the Tory Burch show, which was dedicated to the sheer creativity of the Black Mountain College, an innovative school founded in North Carolina in 1933 and attended by many artists of the time. Fluid skirts and dresses with vintage-style prints were worn with shearling and patchwork boots. The duo at Proenza Schouler kept to a more toned-down palette, albeit with a few splashes of gold and mustard, but the collection’s oversize tailoring recalled how blazers, masculine suits and coats are still a big part of the women’s wardrobe, as is knitwear, which came in the brand’s signature deconstructed style here, but was mainly chunky and high-necked, because in winter you can change colours all you like but you still need to wrap up in a nice cosy sweater.
Garments: masculine suits, blazers, extra-long coats, shearling, trenches, faux fur, down jackets, long dresses with retro touches, loose trousers, high-necked blouses, knitwear, turtlenecks, bustiers, high-necked sweaters, belts, sashes, platforms, boots of various heights, double bags, chains.
Materials: velvet, moleskin, leather, faux fur, menswear fabrics, lurex, satin, knit.
Details: bohemian, military, workwear, tailoring, vintage elements, oversize, layering, deconstruction, knitwear, statement shoulders, high neck, asymmetry, Victorian collars, loose sleeves, flaring, V necklines, one-shoulder, high waist, quilting, gathers, pleats, pockets, fur panels, patchwork, embroidery, frills, ruffles, flounces, draping, knots, hanging laces, fringes, feathers, sequins, animal patterns, checks, floral prints, ethnic motifs, metallic sheen, satin finishes, iridescence.
Colours: black, grey, white, purple, lilac, blue, red, various shades of yellow, green hues, fuchsia, multi-coloured, metallic tints.