In Milan, designers empowering women
Miuccia Prada showed her latest collection against the backdrop of the Milan night through the windows of the Prada Foundation’s new high-rise. A chimp, an alien and a stegosaurus in neon lights hovered in the background through the pane glass windows.
With Bill Murray in the audience, it was hard not to conjure images of Tokyo in “Lost in Translation.” But the Prada story this season, and in general, isn’t about a young girl reflecting her loneliness in an older figure, but of a young woman asserting her own power.
For Miuccia Prada, the neon colors that illuminated the collection offered a sort of protection for women against the night.
“I imagined that the woman can go super sexy in the street at night without being bothered,” Prada said.
“The whole problem of my job is how women can be powerful and still being feminine,” she said.
Gucci kicked off Milan Fashion Week in typical eccentric style on Wednesday as models carried replicas of their own heads on a runway transformed into a creepy operating room.
Suspense had already been building for the show by Gucci’s star creative director Alessandro Michele due to the invitations — orange timers which counted down to the event in glowing red numbers.
Then male and female models walked onto a runway amid operating tables under bright neon lights in the Gucci Hub, the brand’s Milan headquarters, over the steady beeping of a heart monitoring machine.
Michele introduced the “Cyborg Gucci” in the fall/winter 2018-19 collection, which included a wild mix of cultures and symbols, from a pagoda hat to a balaclava, a classic burgundy velvet dress to a gold lurex jacket. “What touches me is not just the talent but also the dose of humor and self-deprecation on the part of Alessandro Michele,” said actress Chiara Mastroianni.
Silvia Venturini Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld caught the feminist wave at Milan Fashion Week on Thursday with their emphasis on strong women in Fendi’s collection for next fall and winter.
The idea is to dress a woman “who has more and more sway in society, who can defy men’s rules and take over,” said Venturini Fendi, the label’s co-artistic director with Lagerfeld.
The look bestows “super powers on the Fendi Woman,” Venturini Fendi said. The kerchiefs worn around the neck in many of the creations recall a bygone era when women embroidered handkerchiefs to give to their men as they went off to war, she said.
As a motif, it is romantic while also saying women are assuming power, she said. “This woman does not stay at home and embroider, she is out in the street with her head high.” Feminism comes naturally to Fendi, founded by five sisters in 1946 building on their parents’ fur and leather shop.
Emilio Pucci’s womenswear collection punctuated the brand’s trademark prints with blocks of color, peacock blue with magenta, teal with royal blue, seafoam green with black.
The collection, created by a design team while the house seeks a new creative director, featured kaleidoscopic archival prints of tulips and clovers.
Sportier looks featured puffer jackets over printed skirts and quilted bra tops, or overcoats mixing quilting with leather.
Silky dresses with lace panels and long jersey knits clung to the figure. Looks were finished with turban-like quilted caps and puffy scarfs.