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Milan Fashion Week Emphasizes Escapism, Minimalism, Quality

Quality is the Italian answer to the COVID-19 crisis

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ITALY. Milan. From 22 to 28 Sept, Italy hosted Milan Fashion Week (MFW SS21) for the second time since the start of the pandemic.

Like the previous edition, MFW SS21 included both physical and virtual fashion events. MFW SS21 was preceded by much talk about a need for more basic wear in the COVID era. Though, in spite of the expectations in a certain press environment, most brands were actually faithful to their DNA, presenting creative or minimalist collections as per their tradition.

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Read Also: Italian Designer Releases New Collection With A Catwalk In The Italian Alps


Versace and Moschino aim to disrupt

Donatella Versace meant to create something “disruptive.” She felt the world had been through a disruptive experience and wanted to envision a “new world” full of colors, fantasy, and self-empowerment.

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The brand presented a re-visitation of Gianni Versace’s “Les Trésor de la Mer” (The Treasures Of The Sea). The setting was the submerged “new world” of Versacepolis, where the models fluttered like colorful sea creatures. The collection included sensual dresses embellished with shiny starfishes, Venus-inspired tops, and dresses with crystal-encrusted shell-shaped cups as well as waving ruffled skirts in popping colors.

Moschino also chose, in Jeremy Scott’s words, a “fantasy gift.” Like Dior for its latest haute couture collection, Jeremy Scott found inspiration in the post-war experience of the “théâtre de la mode.” Filled with puppets of real fashion celebrities, the video presentation was spiced with a good dose of sarcasm. The dolls had beautiful haute couture dresses, mostly in pink and golden hues. Occasionally, they displayed some funny details, as it is in the custom of the brand under Jeremy Scott´s lead. 

Dolce & Gabbana borrow from a Sicilian tradition

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Dolce & Gabbana showcased an SS21 collection called “Sicilian Patchwork” at MFW. During the catwalk, which was itself a work of art, the models wore outfits made with the patchwork technique. Stefano Gabbana explained they found the Sicilian tradition of making clothes by joining squares of old and new fabrics worthy of replication. In that respect, the designer might have been hinting at a need for a more sparse fashion in hard times. The collection was an explosion of colors and artisanal savoir-faire. The mini and maxi skirts and dresses in small and big squares and the whole show were a joy for the eye.

Luisa Beccaria captures authenticity

Luisa Beccaria focused on authentic values, nature, and natural rhythms. The video presenting its SS21 showed Beccaria’s reality, a dream-reality full of elegance and poetry. There was, though, a very intimate light, with all the family members portrayed in the brand’s clothes. Luisa Beccaria’s SS21 collection for MFW featured dresses in the precious fabrics she is well known for — broderie anglaise, chiffon, and tulle. It also included evening dresses in colorful metallic sequins.


Armani’s Zen minimalism

Armani, the Italian champion of high-quality minimalism, stressed the need to offer quality timeless wear in a moment when consumers seek value for money and honor ecology. The hues were grey-aqua, cast in silky fabrics, and the informal tailoring of some pieces, conveyed a relaxed feeling. The rigor of Armani blazers was mitigated by the informal, fluid shapes of the skirts and oriental slouchy trousers.

Pucci unveils its new design team

Pucci, which has a new design team, presented an innovative collection. Pucci´s SS21 both reinterpreted well-known patterns with new softer colors and included monochromatic wear. The silhouettes were simple and the collection had a young, informal vibe.

Quality knitwear

At her second appearance at MFW, Simona Marziali, a “new designer” with a big family tradition, presented a very wearable collection. The main colors were white, khaki, and black. Some pink outfits added a vibrant and positive vibe. Though the color palette might be defined as “basic,” the precious textures of the knitwear were the result of excellent workmanship.

Cividini, a veteran at MFW and in knitwear, also presented a wearable collection. Cividini´s collection for MFW SS21 featured classic timeless wear enriched by precious details like the belt remindful of the Japanese breaded obi cord belts called “murakami obijime” with its adornments. Besides black and white, often matched in striped or floral wear, Cividini’s SS21 collection included outfits in trendy apricot and timeless intense red.

Focus on quality

Quality is the common Italian answer to the crisis caused by COVID-19, no matter if materialized in minimalist or very creative wear. The market will decide which tendency the consumer is drawn to.

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