Day four of Milan Fashion Week SS17 saw a mélange of reinvented classics and cultural integration
Tomas Maier took a low-key but equally poignant approach to celebrate Bottega Veneta's 50th anniversary (along with his 15th year at the helm), moving the show venue to Accademia di Brera from the headquarters that the collections are usually presented at. Maier called upon the supers of then and now to present the collection, including Eva Herzigová, Karen Elson, and Gigi Hadid. And for those who wear, covet, and love Bottega Veneta's idea of luxury that always includes a cultivated sense of refinement, the brand's first coed show had everything to offer, and then some. Recognised for an ethos that prizes timelessness over trends, Maier once again delivered a fall-like collection punctuated by a sporty aesthetic, comprising of beige, deep green, wine, and shades of gray across a slew of coats, sweaters, and trench dresses. But the lineup did surprised us with a handful of jaunty colours worthy of spring—leather midi dresses in bright fuchsia pink and vivid yellow incurred double takes. Naturally, a standing ovation is perhaps the only fitting reaction to the closing of the show, where Hadid walked arm in arm with iconic model and actress Lauren Hutton, who carried the Bottega Veneta archival clutch that was featured in American Gigolo in 1980.
At Jil Sander, Rodolfo Paglialunga incorporated a notable element that Demna Gvasalia made popular at Vetements last fall—exaggerated shoulder pads reigned in power suits, leather jackets, and even languid dresses, all teemed with finger-skimming sleeves. A few oversized, voluminous proportions were given a chic reboot by way of pleats (think Issey Miyake), spotted in pastel knee-grazing dresses with gently-rounded shoulders that swayed ever so slightly. This outing wasn't perhaps the most original, but props to Paglialunga for a minimalist lineup that's in line with Jil Sander's aesthetic.
To say that Antonio Marras delivered a charming, cross-cultural collection that had a certain joie de vivre is likely an understatement. If the opening of the show—a dance party set in a beauty salon that had patrons doing the twist—wasn't a fun enough spectacle, a medley of patchwork denim, lace, bouclé coupled with silk floral prints, embroidery, batik and even animal prints might just induce you to sensory overload. Marras was inspired by Malick Sidibé’s snapshots of Mali's nightlife circa the '50s and '60s, altogether resulting in an amalgamation of African-Western fashion ideas. But with such intense hybrid structures and textures, the collection (including both menswear and womenswear) had all the makings of a story-driven lineup, backed by intricate tailoring and cultural appreciation.