Tuesday 27th September

| BY Jack Moss

Our Round Up Of Milan Fashion Week SS17

Milan was pretty good this season, non? Sorry, we don’t mean to sound surprised, but, well, the Italian city has been a bit dour of late. This time though? A burst – nay, frisson – of energy. Part Gucci, part Prada, part all the other bloody great collections that trotted out one after the other. We waited patiently for a dud. But alas – none came. Which thus made it a really quite strenuous task to pick our favourites. But, we have. And they are here.

Let’s begin with Gucci. For logical reasons, being, as it was, the first show that we attended. But also because, from landing in Linate onwards, the entire city of Milan seemed to be positively frothing at the mouth (and various other orifices) for the stuff. We could barely take a step without accidentally stomping on a furry Gucci loafer or the hem of some sort of frouf. It’s because, as this show demonstrated, it’s increasingly difficult to leave a Gucci show without brandishing your credit card in nearest PR’s face and screaming “WANT TO BUY, NOW”.

So, what did or dear Mr Michele propose for SS17? Well, this took place in a vaguely hazy red room, as if we had perhaps accidentally drunk several strong alcoholic beverages en route. We hadn’t – it was early afternoon and unfortunately our morning had been take up with the less enjoyable experience of a 7am flight, but the show was similarly pleasurable as being off your tits – another trip into Alessandro’s brain, via several centuries and a veritable phantasmagoria of pop culture references. A magical experience, as per. But the real magic? The Italian designer’s ability to make us desire things that we never ever thought that we would. A bejewelled Elton spec? A layered tinsel dress? That supersized lady-mourner veil? A ballet shoe encased in a strappy platform? Yah, we’ll take it all.

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Of course, our twice yearly (quarterly if you count those men’s shows) to the church of Prada, was, as ever, fashionably nourishing. Isn’t it always? This was what you might call Prada, pared-down. Because were those first looks not reminiscent of Miuccia’s house in the 1990s? It was sort of sexy minimalism – cropped slip-tops over patterned shirts, upper-thigh skimming mini skirts (or should we say skorts? They had a kind of inbuilt knicker situation) trench coats that twisted along the front fastening. A nice line in severe centre-parted bobs. But there was glamour here too, in the form of all those ostrich feathers, trimming the edges of silk pyjamas and skirts that crossed-over at the front. Miuccia said it was about modern elegance – a collection, in her words, “de-intellectulised”. We say: which minion is going to take our pre-order?

Versace has been creeping into sportier territory of late. Okay, yes, we know it’s probably going to be technically challenging to undertake sporting activities in a platform shoe and mini dress, but, well, what did you expect? This is Donatella’s version of sporty. Did you think she’d do a bloody tracksuit?! Pssh. No, this was athletic-inspired. For the lady on the move. Paper thin parkas, dresses that ruched with toggle fastenings, jackets that whooshed out like parachutes at the back. Mix this with a ravishing selection of supers (including a smirking Naomi Campbell) and we had to remove ourselves for fear of inappropriate expression of bodily fluid. Yes, we were that excited.

Marni, on the other hand, was not sexy. Which is fine. It’s not trying to be. We’re not either. No, Marni is for the intellectual lady. And naturally, being highly bred sorts, the entire collection appealed. But the best bit? A proposal for the use of bicycle paniers as rather large pockets. Which prompted the question: does this cancel out need for a handbag altogether? Prompting the further question: is Marni, in fact, revolutionary? Who knew?

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Bottega Veneta is 50. Doesn’t she look good? Also fabulous at fifty (or, well a little older – a lady never reveals her age) was Lauren Hutton, who went all mo-del on us and sahsayed down the catwalk on the arm of Gigi Hadid. Obviously everyone’s fingers fell off trying to Snap/Instagram/Tweet. And lady supermodel was was kind of the theme – what better way to celebrate 50 years than a large heap of mega-models who have walked for the house over the years? And, not forgetting that this was, in fact, a fashion show and not just a parade of otherworldly beautiful sorts meant that yes, there were clothes too. Very good clothes. Tomas Maier has been there for 15 years and it still gets better every season. Super luxurious, subtly sexy, restrained. Probably nice to wear, too. I’ll come back to you when I am in receipt of a large wodge of cash.

Fendi. Bottoms and boobs. Well, we were a little bit distracted by them, as they appeared in naughty peeks throughout the collection, but the clothes were just as arousing. A bit rococo fairytale, but also tres modern too. For girl who want to dress like princess but, well, has stuff to do. Diesel Black Gold also went a bit frilly this season. There were ruffles. Yes, ruffles. In DBG show. “Sacrilege!” you might say. But these were tough. Baby-doll dresses came replete with knee heigh boots and there was a sort of utilitarian pocket situation throughout. Call it rough and smooth. And, of course, ruffles were the order of the day at MSGM‘s wonderful SS17 offering – ruffle and roll, baby, that was the theme.

And then, there is Giorgio Armani. Or should we say Charmani. No, not a name change but what Mr Armani christened he collection. Charm plus Armani. Geddit? Why, you might ask. Well, presumably because the collection itself was charming. Much like Mr Armani himself. This was an Armani 101. An exercise in matured Italian elegance in shades of grey and blue (his latest obsession) – a parade of classic lady-shapes heightened with floating layers, a smattering of tassels and, to close, a fuckload of sequins. Yum!

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Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans – from top, Gucci, Prada, Fendi