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Milan A/W ’13 was a week that extensively showcased the vast spectrum of design talent in the Italian fashion capital, in our minds often groomed to perfection and utterly glamorous, a few chose to break the mould this season; a little more grunge, a little more ‘undone’, Milan’s U-turn this season was a refreshing departure from what we’re used to.
Tomas Maier over at Bottega Veneta explains an attempt to “create embellishment out of poverty” – the architectural nature of the collection was interestingly juxtaposed with frayed hems, tumbling pleats and random scraps of fabric held up feebly by wandering seams. Questionable his concept may be, and somewhat reminiscent of Mugatu’s ‘Derelicte’ campaign from Zoolander, ethics (temporarily) aside, this movement was not isolated. At Prada, garments slid off shoulders, belt’s securing them at the waist. Uneven skirt hems and a whole mish-mash of layered fabrics –gingham with metallic, tweed with sequins – enhanced this dishevelled look, an aesthetic we may be more familiar with at Paris rather than Milan, where wet, undone hair seen at Prada and Marni, totally went against the coiffed perfection we’ve come to know the Italians for.
Having said this however, a few of the heavy hitters turned to their heritage for the basis of their collection using bold fearless prints inspired by Italian frescoes and mosaics. Leading the way was Dolce & Gabbana, whose models practically became walking embodiments of the Renaissance, evolving gradually into modern-day woman in herringbone suits. But the luxurious ecclesiastical theme of the show never faltered; bright gems on shoes and bags, golden head pieces, and gigantic crosses will be the key elements for those of us who want a more wearable version of the trend. Just Cavalli took a similar route but made it more urban with big 70s hair, clashing animal prints and tough leather.
Colour is always a nice change during the autumn/winter collections, and in Milan we saw a resurgence of blue, as theme seen within all fashion weeks. Leading the way in Milan had to be Sportmax, who texturised, colour blocked and pleated blue hues to create a minimalist urban-focused collection. Missoni also dipped their nib in the shade with a slinky maxi dress of patchwork leather and sheer fabrics, while ever theatrical DSquared2 opted for a stunning duck-egg blue for their ‘40s-esque 2-piece suit. While typically autumn/winter earthy-jewel tones were seen a-plenty at Gucci and Jil Sander, it was refreshing to see a palette of pastels interspersing Milan. Powder-pink elements at Emilio Pucci complemented tan-thigh high boots beautifully, while Sportmax opened with a plethora of peach and baby blue silky leathers and cosy cowl necks, perfect for the snow bunnies among us.
The contrasts in Milan made a top trend hard to pin down, but for those of us who favour a more elemental approach, Milan was an overflowing catalogue of inspiration when trying to adapt our wardrobe for the next season. The Milan girl was Every Girl this season; no style, colour or theme was left unexplored, and the refreshing sense of liberty in regards to what we wear makes A/W a season to look forward to.