The last day of Milan Fashion Week may be short, but it's still a bit of a struggle. With three full weeks of shows behind them, energy is low among editors who may have made the most of their last night in Italy with lots of pizza and wine (not that I did that or anything). Show-goers were certainly in need of something to make them smile the next morning, and two young designers who preceded Giorgio Armani — buzzy brands Vivetta and Arthur Arbesser — did just that. With cats.
Vivetta Ponti has become known for youthful, girly pieces in sweet colors with cutesy details. "What's more charming than a cat," she must have thought to herself before placing them on collars, flirty dresses, miniskirts and even a pair of elegant overalls in a collection inspired by the '60s and the photography of Slim Aarons. We named Vivetta a street style label to watch at the beginning of the season, and can't wait to see these pieces outside the shows next spring.
Arbesser, who was recently named creative director at Iceberg, also shows clothes with a youthful femininity, though his are a bit more subtle and tomboyish. For spring, he was inspired by cat-loving French artist Balthus and even positioned a large statue of a cat towards the end of the runway, which the models walked around. Following a series of streamlined, wearable and subtly sexy looks — like sheer polo shirts with printed miniskirts and striped day dresses — came the cat print, which appeared on a series of crisp white looks, including a pair of overalls I truly wanted to grab off the model as she walked by.
Next up was Giorgio Armani and, unsurprisingly, there were no cats. There was, however, a new sweetness to the collection: The show started out with a cute romper, and pinks and reds featured heavily throughout, from the pussy bow blouses to the diaphanous dresses and mini skirts. As usual, he closed out the show with eveningwear that was the epitome of sophisticated glamour, but still felt softer and more youthful than usual, with plenty of short hemlines.