Earlier in the year, everyone was turning to Italy with despair and empathy as their COVID-19 deaths surged in numbers. But now attention is being drawn to Italy for a much more positive reason. Milan Fashion Week has brought joy and inspiration back to the country, with the event celebrating more shows than either London or New York.
The Milan Fashion Week that wrapped up over the weekend, asked more from designers than ever before. With more than 40 showcases being shifted to online rather than in person, designers from across the globe had to dig deep in terms of their creativity. From Moschino’s puppet show runway to Ted’s glamourized Zoom call, different designers found new and exciting ways to show off their collections.
In addition to this, the diversity and inclusivity of different models throughout the week gave us an insight into the exciting future of the fashion world. Many designers used not only different models in terms of size, but also in age. With different luxury brands celebrating their clothing through different models, Milan Fashion Week exhibited how the fashion world has made a commitment to reflecting the diverse customer base that their clothing is sold to.
MOSCHINO AND THE PUPPET SHOW
Moschino was one designer that really thought outside of the box this year. Creating a mock fashion show using only puppets, the Italian fashion house set the tone for this year’s creativity and obscurities. Designed with the help of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, the creator of the Muppets, all looks from the collection were modified to fit the assembly of puppets created for the runway.
The collection uses mostly pastel colours in a series of elegant dresses. With big bows and exaggerated stitching, the soft pinks and blues are reminiscent of a princess playset a child might own. Moschino has captured the attention of our childhood fantasies!
The audience of the mock fashion show even included puppet-versions of the various celebrities, including the highly revered Vogue editor Anna Wintour herself, fitted with a puppet-pair of her iconic black sunglasses.
About to be taken over by British designer Kim Jones, Fendi exhibited its last ever solo show for designer Silvia Venturini. Naturally, Venturini wanted to do something big and symbolic and thus, the theme of the collection was “family”.
Using monochrome fabrics and focusing on silhouettes, the Fendi collection championed the bodies of all different types of models. Ashley Graham, the famous plus-size model, returned to the runway for the first time since giving birth to her son, Isaac, in January. As well as Paloma Elsesser, another plus-size American model, who looked terrific on the runway, walking for the second time this year for Fendi.
Yasmin le Bon (55) and Penelope Tree (70) were also featured amongst the Fendi family, in which Venturini showed off the way her clothes not only look terrific on all models but that each piece has the ability to celebrate its wearer’s particular body type, whatever their age.
Mentored by the Milan-based African American designer Edward Buchan, Claudia Gisele Ntsama’s brand GISFAB emerged as Milan’s Fashion Week’s ‘one to watch’.
Bringing black Italians to the forefront of the fashion industry, Ntsama’s story is one of hard work and triumph. Raised in Cameroon in a family of tailors, Ntsama worked hard to support herself through fashion studies that would see her move to Bologna in Italy. Her brand draws great inspiration from her two biggest Japanese fashion icons: Junya Watanabe and Yohji Yamamoto.
It seems with this collection that all her hard work has paid off, and is now being met with great recognition from some of the biggest names in the industry.
Inspired by contemporary art and Asian fashion, GISFAB’s Spring Collection has been championed by Michelle Ngomo (founder of Afro Fashion Week in Milan) for its ability to “live, dream and create from not one but two cultures”.
Versace gave the audience an ability to escape this year into Atlantis. Taking on this incredible under-water theme, all models had slicked-back hair and dewy skin, as if they were Ariel the Mermaid who had just learnt to walk on land. Donatella Versace describes her vision as, “a world made of popping colours and fantastic creatures”, setting the scene with ancient pillars and sculptures for the models to lie on.
The vibrant colours and slick designs grab your attention. The Collection emphasises once again just how great Donatella Versace, at the age of 65, is at her job.
In a 73 Questions Interview with Vogue, Donatella describes her inspiration throughout her designs as, “strong women all over the world”.
Through the way that all of the new designs throughout the collection truly show off the female figure, whatever shape that comes in, it is safe to say she has stayed true to her word.
Despite the challenges that Italy has faced over the course of this year, the 2020 Milan Fashion Week proved that Italian designers have truly stepped up. Through their hard work and creativity, this past weeks fashion shows have raised the bar yet again for what an audience can expect when they walk into a 2020 (and beyond) fashion show!
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