Fashion Month is a marathon, not a sprint, and after two weeks of nonstop runway action in New York and London, we've made it to Milan.
The first day of shows in Italy's fashion capital definitely did not disappoint: Alessandro Michele presented his eccentric debut collection for Gucci, Fausto Puglisi sent models down the runway to a playlist that rivaled the "Night at the Roxbury" soundtrack and Philipp Plein made his ladies (excuse me, his "warriors") ride an actual roller coaster during the show. This stuff isn't for the faint of heart, folks, but it sure is exciting. Read on for our highlights of day one of Milan Fashion Week.
Plaids! Prints! Tassels! Hand-painted coats! No, I'm not just shouting random fashion terms at you — this is just a smattering of the stuff that came down the runway at Stella Jean on Wednesday. A relative newcomer in Milan, the designer is already known for her whimsical — if not busy — collections, but the exaggerated shapes, interesting textiles and ultra-vibrant colors made for another charming showing. Sure, some of the styling seemed a bit overwrought, but examining each charming piece on its own makes it easier to digest. Highlights included long, menswear-inspired coats and trousers, Fair Isle sweaters and slouchy turtlenecks, and the aforementioned tassels in a rainbow of colors that adorned everything from socks to collars to the trim of jackets. Street style stars, start your engines.
Alberta Ferretti's fall 2015 collection was the stuff of fairy tales. The rich, Renaissance-inspired looks came in seemingly every luxe fabrication known to man, including fur, suede, velvet, silk and brocade, with tapestry-esque embroideries and romantic details like gilded adornments and high lace collars. While the capes, ornate dresses and scarlet coats and trousers were gorgeous enough to have been ripped straight from a painting or an Elizabethan movie set, the looks that really set our hearts aflutter were the sheer, texturized dresses in black and white. With their high necks, bell sleeves, lace trimmings and masterful mixing of materials, these airy pieces are a fashion fantasy come to life, and we're thinking they will be a hit among the red carpet crowd.
Set to a medley of David Bowie's anthemic "Let's Dance," Alessandro Dell’Acqua's fall 2015 collection for No. 21 was a beautiful exercise in contrast. From the very first look — which paired a menswear-inspired wool coat with gold brocade pants that we could see Bowie himself enjoying back in the day — the designer combined seemingly incongruous elements in a way that made for an interesting show. For instance, a classic, cable-like knit was worn under a metallic coat with a fur collar; a boxy, sporty pullover was paired with a ladylike, tropical tapestry skirt and a series of airy looks that layered monochromatic silk in a variety of textures and transparencies were lovely to watch walk down the runway.
Fausto Puglisi went with the "more is more" mentality for his fall 2015 show, and the opulence spanned from the clothing — which was bedazzled, printed, colorful and revealing — to the heavy metal accessories, to the soundtrack. Opening with a masterful mashup of Eminem's "Without Me" and Eurythmics's "Sweet Dreams," then moving into a '90s power mix of "Rhythm Is a Dancer" and "I've Got the Power," the music was a delightful complement to a collection that was all about excess.
Making for a rebel-meets-royalty vibe, the standout items in Puglisi's show were the most ornate. Pieces of all fabrications were adorned with gold medallions, grommets, bright beading and pink charms that looked like coral. Flat combat boots — which are emerging as a major trend for fall — were studded as well, and models wore layers upon layers of chain necklaces, charm belts and, in some cases, a single, very heavy-looking earring. For fans of all things '80s, '90s and opulent, this collection will surely delight.
Philipp Plein took the omnipresent "athleisure" theme and really kicked it up a notch for his fall 2015 collection. Models, which the designer refers to as his warriors, wore jerseys, stoles and jackets emblazoned with his name — only his versions of the sporty pieces are made from fur and leather instead of cotton or lycra. Plein also sexed up jogging pants, sports bras, sweatshirts and sneakers (some of which had light-up bottoms à la LA Gear) with studs and exotic materials, and he paired the looks with equally luxe accessories, like giant fur backpacks and stoles. Oh, and there was also a functioning roller coaster and a live performance by Azealia Banks, which you can read about here.