Coming off London, Milan Fashion Week seemed to be entangled with mishaps and drama. While questionable tributes and toxic slime pushed people apart, shows from Daniel Lee and Jeremy Scott brought them back together.
We’re almost on our way to the end of FIB’s Fashion Week coverage. And from London, we’ve now ended up in Milan where the shows on the runway seemed to be competing with the happenings off the runway.
OFF THE RUNWAY
With the corona virus outbreak ramping up in the last few weeks, there was an absence felt at Milan Fashion Week.
Chinese designers Angel Chen, Ricostru and Hui all pulled out of their scheduled shows, while Chinese journalists and buyers also opted not to attend the fashion show. And with Chinese buyers accounting for over a third of global luxury consumption, Milan would have felt the setback in sales this year.
The discrepancies in attendance come after Italy’s decision to ban flights from China last month and production stoppages, pushing back designers’ schedules indefinitely. However, organisers at Milan Fashion Week made up for their absence as Chinese buyers were provided with digital mediums giving them access to catwalks and behind the scenes material.
The Giorgio Armani collection was presented in an empty theatre due to coronavirus concerns, leaving models to walk down runways in front of an ‘online audience’.
The low attendance seems to be a familiar story with organisers referring to the London Fashion Week turnout as “significantly reduced”.
While Fashion Week brings out fashion junkies and collectors, protestors also come forward during this time to highlight the darker side of the industry. Wasting no time, PETA supporters began their protests once Fashion Week was under way on February 18.
Dumping buckets of ‘toxic slime’ over their heads, PETA supporters called out the leather manufacturing business. The black ‘toxic slime’ represents the waste – manure and slaughter waste, intensive water use, deforestation, and greenhouse-gas emissions – that is involved in the production of leather.
Being classified as the most environmentally damaging material in the 2017 ‘Pulse of The Fashion Industry‘ report, the United Nations has been pushing the fashion industry to steer away from animal agriculture.
With research from PETA also indicating that chemicals used in the production of leather can be harmful to workers, one can only hope that the industry will begin to respond.
BACKLASH AGAINST PHILIPP PLEIN
German fashion designer, Philipp Plein closed out his runway show at Milan Fashion Week with a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant.
Passing away January 26 due to an unfortunate helicopter crash that claimed 9 lives including 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, audiences began to question whether the designer had thoroughly thought out the tribute to the NBA legend.
Philipp Plein made two gold helicopters for his show today, which falls 27 days after Kobe died in a helicopter crash
BUT DONT WORRY he whipped up a bunch of Swarovski Kobe jerseys (with “Plein” written on them??) so it’s cool.
Fuck you, Philipp. pic.twitter.com/UHjbubXuG9
— Bliss Foster (@BlissFoster) February 23, 2020
Plein caught backlash following his tribute due to the presence of gold helicopters during the show. Not entirely sure why Plein would have thought that was a good idea. And to add to injury, the Swarovski jerseys designed by Plein, featured his own name. Kobe’s team colours. Kobe’s number. But Plein’s name? Again, a bit confused.
“This tragedy affected myself and all the world deeply and I feel that my fashion show have [sic] been the best moment to express my respect and admiration for Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and his family […] It is sad to see how something positive and constructive can be misinterpreted by people who obviously want to interpret negatively without even having a reason. As a matter of fact, I am really doing something to help and to support the foundation. Actions speak louder than words,” said Plein.
As per the designer, all proceeds from the ‘Plein 24’ collection will be donated to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation. The hoodie is currently priced at $3,150 while the jersey is priced $2,070.
ARMANI ACCUSES DESIGNERS OF ‘RAPE’
Italian designer, Giorgio Armani took time at Milan Fashion Week to comment on the sexualisation of women in the fashion industry.
“Women keep getting raped by designers, by us. If a lady walks on the street and sees an ad with a woman with her boobs and a**e in plain sight and she wants to be like that too, that’s a way of raping her,” said the 85-year-old designer.
Executive editor of Women’s Wear Daily, Booth Moore, said that while Armani has continued to be respectful of women in his work, the use of the word ‘rape’ is very charged.
The exploitation of women in fashion imagery is not a new phenomenon, far from it. And I do think Armani has tried always to be respectful of women in his work. But the word “rape” is very charged, in any language. https://t.co/wVuM75omjG
— @Booth (@Booth) February 21, 2020
RAF SIMONS JOINS PRADA
A polarising name in fashion, Raf Simons, Milan Fashion Week gifted us the surprise of the Belgian designer joining Prada as Co-Creative Director.
Working alongside Miuccia Prada, the collaboration marks the first external project that Simons will be working on since leaving Calvin Klein.
Coming off an $864 million slump in value in 2019, it’s clear that Prada was looking to make some changes in 2020. The latest addition of Simons marks the debut of major fashion talent outside of the Prada family to join the Italian house.
“Miuccia and I had a conversation about creativity in today’s fashion system. And it brought me to open dialogue with many designers, not just Mrs Prada. We have to re-look at how creativity can evolve in today’s fashion system.” Said the former Calvin Klein partner.
It’s unclear how long Simons will be working alongside Prada with Miuccia Prada saying “In theory, it’s forever”.
“When you have all the things to talk about or all the things that you’re thinking about, it’s more strength when two creatives believe in it, and when two creatives love it, it has more strength, in my opinion, that one. So, it’s as simple as that. When we both believe in it, we’re going to do it. When one doesn’t believe in it, we’re not going to do it.” – Raf Simons on his upcoming role at Prada
Their partnership is set to become official on April 2, 2020.
With a collection curated by upcoming designer Daniel Lee, the Fall 2020 collection from Bottega Veneta met elegant and and comfortable in the middle. The 34-year-old designer showed off his range as he debuted his Fall collection with the latest ‘It’ bag. Sweeping up the Fashion Awards with four wins in 2019, Daniel Lee isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
Fusing together the bright hues and patterns of Tokyo with some flamboyance, Jeremy Scott showcases his ability to be unique yet relevant. While The Fall 2020 collection from Moschino is soft in colour, it is loud in design – drawing on wedding cakes for inspiration.
Dolce & Gabbana
2020 seems to be the year of knits – at least in the eyes of Dolce & Gabbana. “Obviously we love sexy […] but it felt too aggressive in this moment. We wanted to take life in a more soft way, more intimate.” Gabbana said.
Pairing hosiery with simple yet intricate knits, the Italian brand evoked a softer tone. Limiting their colour scheme to mostly blacks, greys and whites, the collection steered away from being too abrasive.
Liberation was said to be the theme for Fendi in 2020. And by casting their first-ever ‘plus-size’ models, it seems as though the theme is a fitting one, albeit small steps. From the blazers to the coats, their Fall 2020 collection demanded attention from audiences and buyers. Sticking to the original Fendi blueprint, their pieces expressed authority without the clutter.
From Armani to Fendi to Prada, the topic of female empowerment was a hot one. While Armani may have chose to voice his opinion, Fendi and Prada opted to showcase it instead. “We can be strong and feminine at the same time […] women carry the weight now,” Miuccia Prada said.
Empowerment can often be misinterpreted as straight-forward and strong, but Prada demonstrated how intimacy and strength can coincide with one another.
A show muffled out by the backlash faced from Armani’s comments, their Fall 2020 collection embraced the act of recycling. Referred to as the recycled capsule, the Armani collection makes use of regenerated wool and denim, organic cotton, nylon and recycled wadding, providing a stepping stone for designers to follow.
Armani managed to avoid compromising their style with the recycled capsule, sticking to a sleek and elegant designs. Pieces marked with R-EA are part of the recycled capsule.
Once again, femininity was brought up as a subject of Versace’s latest collection. However, the Italian brand paired ‘hyper-femininity’ with ‘hyper-masculinity’ for their Fall 2020 pieces. Showcasing their collection on a runway split by a reflective screen, Versace’s pieces embraced the femininity through their hips and masculinity through their chests.
During Fashion Week, the show is never over. Attendees, models and designers are always looking to show off their taste and pieces. FIB has curated a gallery of some of the best street style looks that surrounded Milan Fashion Week.
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