The fashion bus has moved to Milan and between the lurex cat-print body suit at Gucci and voluminous, fuzzy pink overcoats at Annakiki, it’s safe to say this season has a sense of both the silly and the sublime to it.
Chinese designer Anna Yang made her Milan Fashion Week debut with a collection inspired by aliens at Annakiki, presenting blouson tops and coats in cheering crayon-like hues, and shiny patent pinafores paired with bolts of silver. The looks featured oversize proportions, structured power blazers and exaggerated sleeves that would definitely make eating spaghetti a hazardous activity. For Yang, it was all about creating harmonious clashes, telling Women’s Wear Daily, “I wanted to mix the silver with the pink because it’s so sweet and soft — I thought that would come as a surprise.”
Meanwhile over at Gucci, creative director Alessandro Michele combined the mens and womens wear collections for the first time, sending a mammoth 120 looks down the runway in the house’s new Milan headquarters. The likes of Jared Leto, Tom Hiddleston, Florence Welch and Salma Hayek with her husband, Gucci parent company CEO Francois-Henri Pinault, kept the front row warm as models walked down a plexi-glass tube reminiscent of an airport train tunnel.
Michele delighted with his fanciful creations and continued affection for “geek chic”. Clashing colours, motifs and bedazzling reigned, with heavily sequin-encrusted jackets, shimmering lurex and floral prints featuring heavily. There were men in floral tights, a hooded dress that looked like it was made from your nan’s lace doilies and a menagerie of animal prints, from kittens to insects. The collection skipped from ’80s prom queens to demure secretaries and femme fatales, with a sprinkling of Mr. Darcy in ruffled collars for good measure.
The beguiling chaos of it all is working, with Gucci seeing 21 per cent growth in the fourth quarter and its parent company Kering achieving its fastest sales growth in four years, with Michele re-invigorating the brand.
Other major shows remaining on the schedule for Milan include Fendi, Max Mara, Bottega Veneta and Versace, before attention turns to Paris Fashion Week.