ELLE.MY editor's Milan Fashion Week diaries: Day 2
Kate falls in love with quilted padding, dreamy coats and 60s waistlines as she dashes between the Max Mara, Fendi, Prada and Moschino shows
Day Two dawned crisp and very cold. By the time I had walked the 15 minutes from my hotel to the venue of the day's first show my fingers were nearly frozen. Thankfully, Max Mara fed us hot espresso as we waited outside for the 930am start.
Inside, though, life was a beach, as the inspiration this season was Marilyn Monroe at the seaside. Specifically, those famous pictures of the movie star taken by George Barris in 1962 that show her frolicking in the waves with a man's Norwegian cardigan wrapped tight around her shoulders.
Max Mara AW15 (Photos: Imaxtree.com)
So as a giant screen came to life with a video of rolling waves hitting the shore, Gigi Hadid, Joan Smalls and Lindsey Wixson pulled their oversized cashmere coats and cardigans around them as they sashayed the runway. But you can't take Marilyn as your muse and not deliver a fair dose of sex appeal too, and so we also saw plenty of satin wiggle skirts teamed with fuzzy mohair sweaters, alpaca bustier dresses and cropped sweaters. Hair was a sexy tousled tuck under, with plenty of salt spray.
Silhouettes were either shrunken or man-sized. I particularly loved the quilted bomber jackets in pale blue. A good thing, actually, because if Day 2 had a theme it was quilted padding, or maybe that's padded quilting… Whatever you call it, we saw it at three different shows. At Fendi the inspiration could have been the New York blizzard – maybe Karl wants all those fashion slaves who wore skimpy dresses during NYFW to have more practical fashion options – while at Moschino later that night it was all about hip hop, and not confined to jackets but also seen in backpacks, bustiers, pants and skirts.
Fendi AW15 (Photos: Imaxtree.com)
Ah, Fendi. I wanted it all. Structure and shape were key, whether in the fixed edges of leather or the pillowy clouds of a puffa jacket. There were skirts and dresses in cream or black with square leather panels over the hips, external leather pockets on the chest or thighs. Coats in dreamy creams or rust-coloured shearling. Strapless dresses that were more like sleeping bags in graphic, geometric browns. It was all just very, very cool. A fact underlined by the array of It girl models Karl and Silvia Fendi employed: Doutzen Kroes opened the show in her only Milan Fashion Week appearance, and Lindsey Wixson closed it. In between we saw Kendall Jenner, Binx Walton, Lexi Bolling, Joan Smalls and Karlie Kloss.
The bags this season felt like a continuation of a theme, but were even more playful with colour. The models carried branches of bird of paradise inside them. Afterwards we got to duck backstage, where Karl was holding court amid a sea of journalists, a smiling Silvia Fendi was posing for pictures with anyone who asked, Amanda Harlech was sounding off to someone about something, and models were all gulping down wine and dessert canapés.
Between shows I caught up with some of our colleagues from the ELLE Italia web team, Luca Lanzoli and Tarcila Bassi, who featured recently as one of our street style stars to watch. They introduced me to Jane Reeve, the charming British woman who runs Milan Fashion Week, as we downed our third espressos of the day at the bar before they had to run off to cover... well, everything!
Prada AW15 (Photos: Imaxtree.com)
The evening, of course, belonged to Prada. This season there were no undulating dunes inside the venue and also no Gemma Ward, which was a bit upsetting. We were all divided between a series of rooms, and the models walked between them in a circle.
The show started about an hour late, and we waited with the lights down low. Then all of a sudden they were cranked up to the clinical white brightness of a hospital theatre and Dr Miuccia commenced surgery.
Ideas of womanhood and domesticity, for me, were what seemed on the operating table. The parade of beehived Stepford Wives gone into the Space Age, wearing cartoon colours (lemon sherbert, airline hostess blue, candy pink) but also elegant hues like chartreuse, deep plum and silver-grey was quite transfixing. There was a lot of neoprene, whether in cropped trousers or short jackets, worn with rubber boots (whose soles reminded me of Dior a few seasons ago). I adored the gloves. They might have been intended to mimic gardening and dishwashing gloves, but I doubt any gardening glove in the world is lined in cashmere.
The 60s vibe was strong in empire waisted dresses and tops in delicious colours, and tweed car coats. There were crystal and plastic embellishments and brooches, updates on the silver heels Miuccia loves, and gorgeous exotic skin bags in covetable feminine peaches and blues. You will want everything.
Anna della Russo and M.I.A., front row at Moschino (Photo: anna_della_russo/Instagram)
From the refinement of Prada, it was on to the raucousness of Moschino. After a half hour bunfight to get in, I and about 1000 others including the awesome MIA sitting front row between Anna Della Russo and Jefferson Hack were treated to what was essentially an old skool hip hop concert.
To the background noise of Run DMC and Kris Kross we watched Gigi Hadid do 90s street and 80s prom queen. Five California girls who walked as a group in Warner Bros cartoon jumpers (see lead photo). And a heck of a lot of graffiti sprawled stuff. The padded oversized purple backpack was fun. Not so sure about the teddy bear one, but given the teddy perfume Jeremy Scott has just done (and gave us all as a gift), at least it was relevant. Also, this was by far and away the most diverse casting I've seen at any show yet. It was great to see so many different skin colours on the catwalk. At last. So kudos to Moschino for that.
Afterwards, a beautiful seafood dinner with Prada and the Asian press, before collapsing into bed to try to be ready for Frantic Friday... Emporio Armani, Sportmax, Tod's, Versace, Bulgari and Aigner coming your way tomorrow!