Ciao, Milano! Fashion month is in full swing, and we're racing to keep up at Milan Fashion Week. Read on for the looks we loved from the runways on day two, and click here for even more reviews from the season.
The show notes for Max Mara indicate that the collection is a mix of classic Italian luxury with Scandinavian design concepts, or, a "recast of the Milanese sartorial tradition with a Nordic spin." Whatever. The bottom line is that Max Mara makes wonderfully sophisticated, perennially classic clothes, and the fall 2017 collection was no exception to that tradition. In monochromatic camels, reds and greys, the cozy knits were equal parts slouchy and sexy. Attempts at streetwear styles via hoodies were less successful, but the outerwear was, of course, fantastic.
If you like sheer, woodland-inspired florals, then Luisa Beccaria's Fall 2017 collection is right up your alley. The inspiration was a forest-dwelling "tempting charmer," and there were certainly a lot of charming details, including ribbon belts, rich embroidery and plush velvets. As Beccaria also does bridal, it was no surprise that the finale gowns were absolute stunners. This look, a top made up of the sheer florals that dominated the show, paired with sparkling pants and a rich coat, was a nice break from all the femininity.
What is it about the combination of a demure, midi-length skirt and a thigh-high boot that feels so alluring? The '70s-inspired silhouette feels modern again, and Karl Lagerfeld's take for Fendi Fall 2017 was especially great. It was refreshing to see clothes that would be practical for the brand's customer — practical being a relative term here. And no one does fur like Fendi.
A collection inspired by the circus of the 1940s could go very wrong very fast. In the hands of Vivetta Ponti, though, it felt feminine and fun. Harlequin motifs cropped up on lace sweaters, silk dresses and overcoats, also serving as a quirky heel detail. There were surrealist details in the tradition of Elsa Schiaparelli on a sequined and velvet dress with a "curtain" pulled back to reveal the details of a face. If that sounds like it was a lot, it wasn't; the clothes were all pretty and wearable.
With the departure of Pablo Coppola, Bally is left without someone at the creative helm. But the brand isn't suffering for it: A collective of designers put the Fall 2017 collection together, and it was both cohesive and commercial. It felt like a more grown up Gucci, with the same kinds of motifs — lip prints on bags, ace of spades on loafers — but done in a more subtle way.
The most exciting thing that happened on the Pucci runway was when Lindsay Lohan arrived just as the first look hit the runway; escorted by a team to a front row seat that no longer existed, there was a bit of a scramble to find her a place as models came down the catwalk. That Lohan was able to steal the show with a collection filled with neon clothing is truly saying something. It's hard to imagine who is reaching for an acid-green, fringe-covered dress, or a half-caped dress that was tricky even for models to wear. And there was more than a hint of Vetements to the sequined dresses and sleek bodysuits.
Roberto Cavalli is another brand currently without a creative director, though Fausto Puglisi is rumored to be in talks to take the reins. In light of its current state, the brand opted to show in a presentation format, with the clothes on mannequins instead of models. What it was: A very Cavalli collection, filled with sexy sheer paneling, snakeskin details, and loads of animal prints. What it wasn't: Well, very good. The codes of Cavalli are tricky to play with, as Peter Dundas learned rather quickly, and without guidance they can read cheap. Certainly, Puglisi is capable of toeing the line between sexy and tacky — but whomever they choose, let's hope they arrive quickly.
Leave it to Miuccia Prada to make '70s stoner staples look chic. (Really, please: Leave it to her. Other designers should not try this at home.) The magic of Prada is that she delivers smart, conceptual design that is still wearable. Every single coat in the fall 2017 collection is a must-have, whether in bright mohair or embellished tweed.
The boots were also incredible, especially with the snakeskin detail. Powerful and practical: What's not to love?
I will absolutely be the first to tell you that I don't quite get Jeremy Scott. I am aware that he has superfans but I have never connected with his designs. When I learned that his fall 2017 collection for Moschino was inspired by literal trash, I did not have high hopes. But as the first looks came down the runway, I wondered: Was this collection — dare I say — chic? The cardboard box-inspired looks were especially wearable and flattering, with just a hint of quirk.
Of course, then Anna Cleveland brought the house down (almost quite literally: Her dress was made of part of the curtain backdrop, which she dragged dramatically down the runway). Still, that sense of humor was a nice break from all the seriousness of fashion week, and it made me smile.
Homepage photo: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images