The Italians Sure Know How to do Fashion (Milan Fashion Week Part 2)

Ok guys, let’s wrap up the Milan conversation.

Mar 1, 2012 at 3:46pm | Leave a comment

I know you’ve read part 1 of my Milan Fashion Week highlights and while they were hard to narrow down, here is the rest of my thoughts on the fabulous Italian collections:

I seriously cannot recall a time when Raf Simons did not turn out a jaw-dropping collection. He just knocks it out of the ballpark every.single.time. Which is why it felt like a terrible blow when it was announced earlier this week that after seven years, this would be his last collection for Jil Sander. I won’t even begin to discuss all the turmoil and creative director musical chair games that fashion houses have been engaged in as of late, so let’s just drop it for now. Raf is moving on and Jil Sander (yes, the ACTUAL Jil Sander, more recently made famous by her capsule collection for Uniqlo) is headed back to the top position of her namesake house.

Enough about that and let’s bask in the glorious collection we saw coming down the Jil Sander runway for fall 2012. The whole thing felt like a parade of style and grace, starting out with a soft palette of powder pink and grey, and gradually transitioning into starker hues like red and black. The tailoring and cuts were exemplary, of course, but the show was truly hypnotizing thanks to clothes that felt incredibly intimate. Coats had a bathrobe feel and dresses were reminiscent of elegant slips. It was the perfect ending to the heavenly match that was Raf Simons and Jil Sander. Holding my breath in anticipation of what he’ll be doing next.

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Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein wasn't the only one with Rooney Mara in mind this season. The Versace show was undeniably an ode to a sexified vision of the character who made the actress famous (Lisbeth Salander, you know, with the dragon tatoo) – if you couldn’t tell by the hair, the punkish clothes were also a good hint. It translated an untypical Donatella vibe, but it still felt very Versace. Read: Gothic and dark meets sexy and tight. She definitely had a tough girl in mind when she was putting this one on paper. Almost like if medieval and disco had a lovechild: oversized crucifix plastered on corsets with an armour-like sensibility were mixed and matched with sequins and brights. Even chainmail made an appearance. Wouldn’t want to mess with this chick.

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Since Tomas Maier took over at Bottega Veneta ten years ago, he has made the label an example of ladylike good taste. Basically, the epitome of chic. He would never compromise the house's reputed elegance, even while venturing into a more bodycon territory – the woman’s silhouette was greatly highlighted by strategic detailing, whether it was a soft peplum or non-distracting sequins (it almost appeared to be a celebration of its shape).  It was dark, tailored to perfection and ever so effortlessly exquisite. Subtlety has, ironically, always played a starring role in the Bottega collections, and Maier is all about keeping the brand’s true essence alive. Amen.

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DSQUARED2 twins Dean and Dan Caten have basically made a career out of playing with fashion and turning unlikely themes into kitschy and fun offerings. Who could forget their version of camping? So let's recap: at a DSQUARED2 show, you can consistently expect a few thing: lots of skin, lots of fun, lots of irony, lots of denim. Their fall 2012 show was quirky, but not as extravagant as what we've come to know them for – the wearability factor was definitely kicked up a notch. Seeing significantly less sex than what one could have predicted, it was of course very joyful and the vision was perfectly clear, thanks to a ton of color and 60s bouffant hairdos.

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What were your thoughts on these collections? Did I miss any? Next time around, we’ll be discussing Paris. Au revoir!

All images via Style.com