Brunello Cucinelli: No strangers to sumptuous luxury, lustworthy fabrics dominated the label’s autumn offering, culminating in a series of handmade knitted jumpers and bomber jackets which each take 20 hours to create. Inspired by nature they are knitted to resemble a tessellation of leaves and flowers and are toned like tree bark. Elsewhere, there was an eighties elan to oversized pinstripe tailoring tucked into boots, leather totes were imagined in XL proportions and knee high boots had a equestrian air, featuring crystal encrusted buckles.
Milan Fashion Week A/W 2020 Editor’s Picks
From Herno’s expert performancewear to Brunello Cucinelli’s organic-inspired pieces, we present the Wallpaper* pick of Milan Fashion Week Women’s A/W 2020
Loro Piana: Look no further than the Italian fabrication experts for the upmost in autumnal luxury. Cashmere shearling bomber jackets which took two years to develop, astonishingly sofy vicuña tracksuits and cashmere lined wellington boots will all bolster the wardrobes of the most elegant, pared back and fabrication obsessed shoppers. The brand also had an outdoors focused élan for autumn, pairing those aforementioned wellington boots with crocodile skin water bottle holders and cashmere camera cases. What more could incentivise you into a hike?
No 21: Alessandro Dell’Acqua is known for his seductively nonchalant aesthetic, where punk meets pretty in a subversively chic mix. A/W 2020 marks No 21’s tenth anniversary, and his milestone collection was a cacophony of party dresses in liquid chanmail, ribbed knitwear twinkling with sequins and alluring cut outs, oversized tailoring and pencil skirts in buttery leather and utilitarian outerwear all imagined in dark midnight tones, caramel, bottle green and cornflower. Body skimming boucle dresses featured blingy chainmail straps, cropped cardigans were imagined in preppy check mohair and a feathered coat provided plenty of frou frou. For Dell’Acqua devotees the next ten years is looking dazzling.
Memos. On fashion in this millennium: Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana partnered with curator Maria Luisa Frisa, exhibition-maker Judith Clark and Museo Poldi Pezzoli to present an exhibition that looks at our sartorial history. Exploring the nature of contemporary fashion through carefully curated ’memos’ – Collections of clothing, magazines, and writing – the exhibition reflects on fashion in this millennium and serves as the perfect deep-dive for the fashion-savvy culture addict. The exhibition is on view until 4 May 2020 at Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan.
Woolrich: Introducing functionality fused with high-end aesthetics, the Woolrich A/W 2020 collection was curated in four equally exciting drops. Keeping us warm, dry and protected in all conditions, the label’s outerwear essentials were styled as timeless puffers, sherpas, and city coats in charcoal black, slate blue and dew grey – broken up by colourful alternatives in shiny tangerine orange and apple red. Taking us from a mild autumn breeze to sub-zero climate, the drops culminated in the Woolrich Arctic Parka series. Celebrating the brand’s 190-year-old history, the conclusion of the collection deconstructed and re-designed the iconic Arcitc Parka to fit three distinctive concepts and lifestyles – The Luxe, Tech, and Eco.
Jil Sander: Taking a break from the hectic fashion week schedule, Jil Sander turned its Via Sant’Andrea space in Milan into a miniature gallery. The store has since its inauguration in September 2019 offered a new approach to retail spaces – featuring numerous pop-up art projects. The latest installation highlights the journey behind the brand’s S/S 2020 campaign through a selection of 12 images by Paris-based photographer Olivier Kervern. Documenting the source of inspiration for the collection, a road-trip through Sicily, the images are complemented with a screening of behind-the-scenes footage from the trip showing creative directors Lucie and Luke Meier at work.
Giuseppe Zanotti: There’s been a square toed sensibility on the A/W 2020 catwalks, a style which the footwear aficionado also tapped into for autumn. Amongst couture-worthy stilettos, swathed in crystals, frothy corsage details and bows, Zanotti also proposed a selection of sleek square toed mules in patent white, black and emerald tones. Fans of nostalgic Noughties style will be first in line.
Herno: The Italian performance wear experts got green for A/W 2020, presenting the womenswear iteration of Herno Globe (the menswear was shown at Pitti Uomo in January), a sustainability-focused offering of puffer jackets and tailored overcoats incorporating 6 different fabrics. These include recycled wool and taffeta and Fast5Degradable, a exclusive nylon which biodegrades in only five years, instead of 50. The natural world is close to the heart of Herno, whose HQ in Lesea is named after the river which runs next to it. Since 2016 the company has invested heavily in new initiatives, machinery and technology to ensure it operates as environmentally friendly as possible.
Bally: Soft shapes and sculptural silhouettes defined Bally’s minimalist approach to A/W 2020. Named ’Purity of Form’, the collection focused on clean lines, organic materials and a neutral colour scheme – reflecting the label’s focus on form, fusing their Swiss heritage with a contemporary design. The looks were constructed shoe up, marrying craftsmanship with turn-of-the-century prints and resulting in clothes for the modern Bally men and women. Accompanying the new season was an immersive installation titled ’Kaleidoscope’ where the graphic nature of the collection was translated into a play of light and shadows, and where the guests themselves took to the runway.
Church’s: Contemporary classics are what Church’s served up for A/W 2020. The British heritage brand – first founded in 1873 – took us back to a groovier era with its latest collection, featuring subtle design nods to the 70s. Cropped ankles, fringe details and tapered lace-ups zhuzhed up their classic black and red patent leather styles, which would work just as well for boogieing the night away as business during the day.
Casadei: ‘The fun part of being a creative person is to bring life to a new concept through reinterpretation of the past,’ says creative director Cesare Casadei of the inspiration behind its autumn update of the Italian accessories brand’s signature chain heel, launched in 1991. This resulted in a series of boldly hued sandals, in shades from turquoise to tan, with a mirrored chrome block heel featuring an exaggerated chain detail.
Valextra: The Italian accessorises aficionado is renowned for collaborating with a host of art and design stalwarts, from John Pawson to Bethan Laura Wood - in both its product and architecture designs. For A/W 2020, Valextra unveiled an impressive roster of collaborators, for the capsule collections in its ‘Extra Milano’ offering, from fashion brands Sunnei to La Double J, Plan C to Arthur Arbesser, in a celebration of Milanese creativity. For the label’s presentation at its via Manzoni boutique, the Sunnei designers even created a 2-meter tall robotic mechanical arm, to display its patchwork Passepartout bags, which decline in size from a weekender bag to a wallet, created in collaboration with Italian factory Alpac.
Santoni: Craftsmanship was up close and central at the Italian footwear aficionado’s A/W 2020 presentation, with a set up inspired by a game of chess. Scoring check mate were a series of monk strap brogues, penny loafers and riding boots coloured with an ombré hand dyed patina, achieved by rubbing different tones into leather and polishing with beeswax. Elsewhere, a collection of heeled boots has a tactile tartan finish, achieved by hand weaving threads in burgundy, forest green, yellow and white through a leather upper.
Bulgari: Swapping last season’s midnight hues for something a whole more multicoloured, prismatic tones abounded in the Italian jewellery and accessory house’s collection. This included a utilitarian take on the Serpenti Forever with handy inner compartments in multicoloured stripe stingray and a scratch-resistant metallic coated leather and a mint version of the Serpenti Forever Cabochon, a colour requested by Bulgari devotees after the success of the shade in Alexander Wang’s sellout capsule collection last season. The label also debuted a practical hybrid bag style named 7 Ways - suitable for both men and women - with subtle Bulgari branding (a typographic first for the maison). This camera bag style can be added to with clip on compartments, including gold chain and Serpenti detail purses, for a hybrid, personalisation-focused punch.
Geox: There was a feminine flair behind the outerwear and footwear label’s A/W 2020 offering, which served up rose print and snakeskin sandals, slouchy suede boots and stud detail slingbacks, alongside high shine puffer jackets. Glamour was a buzzword on the Milan catwalks, with brands from Fendi to Prada celebrating the wares of womanhood. Geox’s offering will ensure your elegantly on point for autumn.