ELLE.MY editor's Milan Fashion Week diaries: days 5 and 6
Milan Fashion Week ends with a bang, with Giorgio Armani and Kate's favourite show of the week, Marni, wrapping things up beautifully
By Sunday, the penultimate day of Milan Fashion Week, there was definite fatigue buildup among the crowd milling outside the day's first show, and more than a few people were nursing sore heads after partying a little too hard at the Emporio Armani party the night before. But it was nothing that a little Marni (main picture) couldn't fix. Even Anna Wintour, sitting front row in her fashion week uniform (fur stole and floral dress), removes her sunglasses for Marni.
And designer Consuelo Castiglioni didn't disappoint, delivering an ode to modern warrior women that was sleek yet full of interesting details. The models strode out confidently in crossover dresses with clean, simple silhouettes and raw edges; some had open sides, almost like panels of fabric were simply draped over the body. They were worn over high-necked knits, or with fur sleeves, and sometimes teamed with flared trousers that had kicky little splits at the hem. There was a definite kind of old Hollywood glamour as well, with models' hair styled in 40s-era waves, and hems no shorter than mid-calf.
The accessories were really something else, from the wide, obi-style leather belts in various colours, to the vivid green and yellow python skin bags and boots. (But they were walkable boots, with grip treads, because not being able to walk in your shoes doesn't gel with being a warrior woman.) And I really loved the earrings – globes on elegantly curved stems.
Conseulo is among the group of women designers – along with Phoebe Philo at Celiné, Claire Waight Keller of Chloé, Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen and Alessandra Facchinetti at Tod's – who just know how to make clothes that modern women really, really want to wear. So no surprise this was far and away my favourite collection of the week. I've started saving already.
Afterwards it was time for the presentation at Calvin Klein – another New York label that brought its AW15 collection to Milan. This was held just across the road, so the entire Marni audience seemed to descend there en masse. Inside we found quite a Mod, '60s vibe going on, from the shift dresses to the panelled suede maxi skirts, to the shape of the tortoiseshell boots (very cool). Leather and suede were the key textures.
Calvin Klein suede and leather panelled skirt
From there, I rushed to the Max Mara and Sportmax resees. I really loved the former's Marilyn-inspired show, and enjoyed but didn't exactly swoon over the latter's... however, once up close with the clothes I definitely began swooning. Catwalk shows are over in five minutes, and even if you are sitting front row, the models rush by so fast that you are often only left with a blurry impression of the overall looks. So when you have the chance to really examine the clothes up close, you might find you like them a lot more (as I definitely did with Sportmax).
There were so many 'must-touch' coats and knits at Sportmax, it was hard to choose an absolute favourite, but if I had to it would be the cosy neutral-coloured V-neck sweater with oversized black felt flowers all over it. There were some awesome black and white lace-up wedges too, with blanket stitching.
Lustworthy shoes at Sportmax
At Max Mara, I adored the sweet little bustiers and skirts as much as I had when I first saw them, and also discovered that the pale blue satin quilted bomber I loved at the show actually had 'Max Mara' written all over it. See, details!
Afterwards, I met up with Nicky Chong, ELLE's former fashion director, for lunch and an Aperol spritz at La Rinascente, a high-end department store next to the Duomo, which has a beautiful open-air restaurant on the seventh floor that looks directly onto the cathedral. This is one of those places you have to go when in Milan, even though it's packed with tourists.
(Photo: La Rinascente)
No time to linger though, as the Salvatore Ferragamo show waited. Held at Palazzo Mezzanotte, a hulking stone block of a building that was once Milan's stock exchange and remains a symbol of fascist architecture, the show itself was all about colour blocking. Rectangular, circular and square panels in complementary colours were used in a gorgeous way that felt, well, expensive. The springy ponchos that bounced up and down as the models walked were lots of fun, as were the furry sandals (fur shoes are still a trend). All-black coats were livened up with statement buttons in red, yellow and black resin, while full leather pleated skirts in brown and dark teal had contrasting black beneath the pleats that flashed as the models walked. This was a sophisticated collection for grown-up women.
There was only one show left on my schedule now, Giorgio Armani, and it was held on the final morning of fashion week. We saw a similar cropped trouser to the ones seen at Emporio Armani earlier in the week, but the more interesting style was the sarong-waisted version; a piece that basically begins as a skirt and ends as a trouser. (Skrouser?) There were watercolour washes (as hinted at on the invitation) that were rather dreamy, but the strongest looks for me were evening wear. The sparkly tops, cropped jackets and black beaded gowns and jackets were truly beautiful.
It felt particularly fresh to see the gowns worn with flat black patent-leather boots too! With the final show over, there was only one thing left to do before heading to the airport: eat a final slice of pizza and have a glass of great Tuscan wine. Arrivederci, Milano! You were wonderful. Next stop – Paris! Stay tuned for ed-in-chief Andrea's Paris fashion week diaries later this week.