Milan Fashion Week S/S 2020 Editor’s Picks
From MM6 Maison Margiela’s industrial bridal scene to Brunello Cucinelli’s slouchy, relaxed take on luxury, we bring you the Wallpaper* pick of the Italian city’s spring shows and presentations...
MM6 Maison Margiela: Guests gathered inside a cavernous warehouse space to witness the holy matrimony of a host of MM6 Maison Margiela brides. Here, twelve wedded women strode through the space in a host of subversively back-to-front gown-like getups, clad in silk, tulle, jersey ruffles, flounces of leather and tattered denim. The love-centric scene was inspired by the 1969 wedding of Yoko Ono and John Lennon, and models carried individual speakers blaring the sounds of church bells, birds tweeting and folk music. The concrete space was populated by clouds of white balloons and a giant sponge wedding cake was iced with the words ‘Just Margiela 6’, before being sliced up and handed to the congregation.
Borbonese: ‘I was thinking about the Agnelli family, who come from Turin, the birthplace of the Borbonese’, said Dorian Tarantini, one half of the label, of his sophomore collection for the heritage brand - one swathed in Eighties Gianfranco Ferré-inspired silhouettes, like nipped in skirt suits in tropical jacquards, cactus print suede trench coats and chessboard leather miniskirts. Alongside these powerful silhouettes, spiky pumps and micro handbags were crafted from the label’s signature partridge eye print, and for humorous sun drenched style, models standing on mirrored plinths in the cavernous entrance to a gilded palazzo sported suede covered sun reflectors.
Bulgari: After unveiling a stellar Serpenti Bag collaboration with Alexander Wang at New York Fashion Week earlier this month, the Roman accessories and jewellery house unveiled a host of ornate, jewel-inspired and intricately honed versions of its Diamond Blast and Cabochon bags. The brand give same attention to accessories as gemstones, and for spring, new techniques included a metallic water snake fabrication, with an astonishingly soft feel, achieved through masking the texture through a metal drum, a graphic chain pavé embellishment electroplated in gold and malachite, onyx and black mother of pearl detailing.
Herno: Fashion’s penchant for the logo shows no sign of abating, and for the first time in its history, Herno dabbled in an opulent serif monogram print. Twelve silhouettes including sporty nylon bombers and sleek cotton trenchcoats have been embellished with the brand’s new monogram, it’s ‘H’ lettering nodding to the river Herno, which runs through the town it was founded in. Expect the print tessellated across outerwear or featuring as a luxurious lining detailing, inside sleeves or the inside of belts.
Brunello Cucinelli: Relaxed luxury was the name of the game for S/S 2020, as the fabrication-focused label debuted a collection brimming with slouchy short suiting in tropical tones, oversized bleached Japanese denim paired with splodgy abstract silk shirts and tailored waistcoats, pleated skirts and striped mohair knits. The label also introduced a chunky sneaker style for spring, plus a push on its delicate, graphic fine jewellery. Not forgetting these sugary pink wellington boots, perfect for pottering around your plant beds come spring.
Jimmy Choo: For its S/S 2020 presentation, the shoe and accessories giant teamed up with London-based art practice United Visual Artists – who masterminded the rainbow hued light installation for Christopher Bailey’s final Burberry collection – on a glitchy wall installation highlighting its standout spring pieces. Animal prints are high on the agenda for spring, and we’ll be sporting Choo’s punky leopard spot high tops, bejeweled leopard print evening pumps and chunky snakeskin platforms. Roar!
Missoni: Guests sat on tiered benches lining Bagni Misteriosi, an enormous public swimming pool in Milan, with a floating station at its center populated with the name of the brand in wire letters. Colourful chevron stripe and swirling patterned seating covers lined the rows, and Missoni’s spring offering was equally kaleidoscopic. There was a Seventies sensibility behind sleeveless V-neck jumpers which overlaid stripe shirts and knitted tube skirts and stripe bowling shirts, paired with houndstooth trousers and cardigans. Models carried weaved baskets bursting with wild flowers, and at the show’s finale, carried sunflower shape portable solar-powered lamps designed by Olafur Eliasson, which twinkled like tealights on the surface of a swimming pool. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
La Double J: JJ Martin, the new mistress of bold, pattern-swathed and ebuillent Milanese fashion, presented her S/S 2020 collection in the courtyard of the Four Seasons Hotel. Tables were lined in bold, graphic cloths, trees were hung with striped tree bobs, made by artisans in Tulum and cocktails were aplenty. Martin’s ingenuity lies in her presentation of stock silhouettes in a variety of fabrics, which for S/S 2020 included A-line lemon print vests embellished with ostrich feathers, kaftans emblazoned with patterned pineapples and shift dresses in a dazzling graphic tessellation of sequins.
Woolrich: The heritage American label’s womenswear took on more of a romantic wow factor for spring. Alongside signature outerwear, including cagoules and waterproof parkas, the brand dabbled in new protective silhouettes in an array of bubblegum pinks and glittering golds. Feminine flounces came courtesy of the label’s signature Buffalo check shirts, fringed in ethnic beading, or honed into floaty mandarin collar dresses.
Etro: It was up, up and away at Etro, as the brand lifted off in an arched courtyard of a Palazzo, with three leopard and paisley print hot air balloons stationed at its center. Sendin us to cloud nine for spring? A free-spirited collection riffing on the outfits favoured by swashbuckling pirates and Sixties groupies, swathed in ikat and Paisley prints, Berber stripes and metallic fringing. For seaborne adventures or a backstage rendez-vous, Etro recommends plunging ruffled dresses and waistcoats, chic short suits and stripe kaftans, accessorized with oversized weaved hats, pirate boots and silk headscarves.
Brognano: Inside the ornate interconnected rooms of Palazzo Bovara, Nicola Brognano mused on the idea of girls getting dressed to go out, clad in a fusion of pinks, blues and greens. Sporting his signature frothy tulle dresses, they frolicked down the runway in towelled turbans and leather sliders riffing on hotel slippers. The young designer, who founded his eponymous brand four years ago, has also made tropical prints his signature, and for more dressed-down dates he paired hibiscus pattern bowling shirts with bejewelled pencil skirts, offered up executive suiting in ombré silk check and paired Bermuda shorts (S/S 2020’s most popular silhouette) with bib-detail transparent shirting.
Santoni: For spring the label intermixed feminine and masculine codes, extending signature silhouettes in its men’s offering to womenswear too. The collection was ablaze with bold tones like yellow and sunset orange, and soft blues and creams. Come summer, we’ll be stepping out in these double monkstrap loafers in soft suede or degradé leather, boots with beaded anklet details and flat sandals with delicate straps.
M Missoni: It was all aboard the M Missoni tram, as Margherita Missoni unveiled her new, vibrantly hued and patterned vision for the diffusion line. Brands have demonstrated a flair for upcycling in Milan (just look to Marni and Arthur Arbesser’s use of archival fabrics), and for S/S 2020, the designer delved into the archives of mainline Missoni, in order to ‘reuse, remix and respect’. Cue layered zig zag stripe dresses, cricket jumpers and check trenchcoats, and a spontaneous cut-and-sew aesthetic, with old buttons strung into necklaces, reinterpreted logos and an old perfume advertisement reimagined as a new print.
Aspesi: The Italian brand hit the sun-illuminated slopes for spring, with a print and pattern-focused collection inspired by the infinitesimal specks that make up snow. Checks, Dalmatian prints and bold neons were splashed across urban cagoules and mackintoshes, the brand’s signature camouflage motif cut into chic pencil skirts and technical nylon printed with colourful checks, in work-meets-weekend tailored blazers and relaxed shirtdresses.
Giuseppe Zanotti: The brand came into full bloom for S/S 2020 with a collection inspired by tropical florals, like sandals and stilettos adorned with luxurious 3D orchids and roses. Elsewhere, Seventies insouciance inspired chunky chain detail heels, Art Deco drama in crystals which adorned the open toes of ankle tie stilettos, and prismatic punch in a series of kitten heel sandals (a newer height for the footwear behemoth) in tangy orange, fuchsia and yellow leather.
Valextra: The Italian accessories house is renowned for its collaboration with artists and architects. In recent years, its bags have been reinterpreted by Bethan Laura Wood and Martino Gamper, and its boutiques conceived by Kengo Kuma and Snarkitecture. Inside its John Pawson-designed Via Alessandro Manzoni boutique, Valextra unveiled ‘Flute’, its collaboration with Michael Anastassiades. This culmintes in a series of ancient temple-inspired bespoke lamps, a geometric fine jewellery collection, and a sleek reinterpretation of its ‘S’ bag in shades of black, white, dusty pink and azul.
Loro Piana: Lightness has been a recurring theme on the S/S 2020 catwalks, just look to Emporio Armani’s ethereal exploration of air. No one knows delicate, finely made fabrics better than Loro Piana and for S/S 2020, the Italian brand’s exploration of weightlessness was encompassed in timeless, gently fluid silhouettes in baby cashmere, silk and solaro, like sleeveless pinafores, kaftans, stripe dresses and oversized jumpers.
Mia Becar: Mexico-born Betsy Gonzalez and Carolina Lujan studied bespoke shoemaking in New York before moving to Milan to hone their skill sets from the masters at Ars Sutoria. Their elegant burgeoning shoe label offers an interplay between Mexican craftsmanship and Italian elegance. Spring’s sublime offering includes sandals embellished with intricately beaded flowers, created by Mexican artisans, architectural mules with galvanised metal heels and retro-infused slingbacks with malleable and oversized suede bows.
Geox: The Italian label presented its latest collection of men’s and women’s shoes and innovative performance pieces within the arched courtyard of Basilica of San Simpliciano. Biker jackets, quilted coats and parkas were imagined in crinkly reflective nylon and snakeskin prints, and sleek raincoats could be folded into handy pouches. Chunky sole sneakers were presented in an array of neon oranges, sea blues and silvers with metallic details, and chunky sandals and espadrilles were imagined in wild leopard print with tribal tassel embellishments.
Bally: For its S/S 2020 presentation, Bally enlisted Kinmonth+Monfreda Studio to explore the concept of home, a poignant topic in today’s socio-political climate. Antonio Monfreda and Patrick Kinmonth erected a series of pared-back everyday living rooms, with male and female models installed inside, reading books and playing board games, clad in sleek slip dresses, double breasted suits, Hawaiian shirts in Eastern silks and bomber jackets. The collection was imagined in natural tones and trenchcoats in degradé leather and suede were a craftsmanship-focused highlight.
Church’s: Last season, the Northampton-founded shoe label looked to the streets of Holland Park in London’s Kensington for inspiration, and for spring they adventured further South, taking inspiration from the oceanic hues of the coastline surrounding St Ives in Cornwall, also home to the Tate and the Barbara Hepworth Museum. The brand’s signature loafers and Rainbow sandal were imagined in soft suedes in sand and frothy pink, and a sleek Derby shoe featured floral leather appliqué inspired by Cornish blossom.