Couldn't make it to Milan to catch Gucci's spring show? Us neither. Luckily we're bringing it to you live through the magic of the internets. Tune in tomorrow at 9 a.m. EST when we'll be live streaming the Gucci show (which should include Frida Giannini's a stellar model line-up, wink).
Forget diamonds--shoes are a girl's best friend. The SS11 runways were full of new "best friends" for shoe addicts everywhere. From Alexander McQueen's and Rodarte's sculpted wedges to Calvin Klein's lucite and wood stilettos, there's something for every girl, even sneakers (from Giles and Yohji Yamamoto, of course)! Trying to pick a favorite may cost you hours, so why not just love them all? Click through to see the best of the best shoes from the Spring runways!
moreForget about the Breton for the moment: A new stripe swept the runways at Milan Fashion Week.
The fashion that came off the runways in Milan this week was bright and bold and beautiful. From the DayGlo and Baroque and Latin flair at Prada, to the neon color blocking and couture silhouettes at Jil Sander, to the wedding-white lace confections at Dolce & Gabbana, Milan's designers made an impressive showing this season. It was my first time seeing the collections in Milan, so while I have less basis for comparison, all the heavy-hitting critics--Horyn, Menkes, Alexander--seemed to be in agreement that this season was one of the strongest showings from Milan in some time. Here are my top nine looks.
MILAN--For the last big show of a fantastic week of fashion in Milan, Giorgio Armani wrangled some serious A-list celebrity for his spring show. And we're not talking about Megan Fox, though she looked gorgeous. We're talking about George motherfucking Clooney. A real, bona fide, Carey Grant-esque (in my opinion), movie star. We could hardly blame the crowds outside the venue for letting out screams when he walked through with Elisabetta Canalis. Or blame Elisabetta for whispering in his ear and leaning on his shoulder during the entire show. But enough about George. There were clothes to gawk at, too. Really pretty clothes, all in navy blue. Armani called his show "La Femme Bleue"--a fitting French title for a collection inspired by the Tuaregs of French-speaking North Africa. Set against a projection of sand dunes, the whistling wind audible in the soundtrack, models were styled in silk turbans and sheer wraps for chic protection from the wind and sand. Underneath the wraps, the clothes were hardly desert attire, but layered nonetheless. Tailored suit jackets were paired with skirts over pleat-front pants. A ruffled jelly-fish-like hem, carried over from Emporio Armani, was present on tunic tops. Crystals lent sparkle and texture to the monotone palette. And the finale evening dresses, many of them one-shouldered in thick satin with big bows at the shoulder, were red-carpet-ready. Click through for more looks. **All photos from Style.com
She may be years away from fitting into runway clothes and should probably have been in school this past week, but, hey, that never stopped Tavi. Willow Smith, who has yet to reach double digits, spent last week accompanying her mom to Milan's front rows. Willow is already proving herself as a tween fashion force to be reckoned with. Honestly, she has an impressive sense of style for someone so young. Or, do you think she uses a stylist? Click through for her ensembles.
MILAN--Roberto Cavalli celebrated his 40th anniversary in business with a sexy as hell collection for spring. The set was a greenhouse complete with tropical foliage (oversized and in plastic), and the looks were steaming hot to match. If there's one body part Cavalli emphasized with this milestone collection, it is the hips. Skin-tight leather pants sat dangerously low, and long chiffon dresses were cut out at the sides, the skirts hitting just at the hip bones for maximum swagger down the runway. Of course, when supermodels like Natalia Vodianova and Laetitia Casta are modeling the clothes (Natalia opened, Laetitia closed), the swagger is guaranteed. Cavalli kept his color palette neutral and went for it with embellishments in a dazzling display of craftsmanship. His low-slung hip-hugging leather pants were laced up the sides and paired with hand-cut cropped leather tops. An excess of leather fringe hung around the necks of floor-length Bohemian dresses in animal prints and handbags got the fringe treatment too. American celebs came out to fete Cavalli, too. Taylor Swift, Leona Lewis, Rachel Bilson, and Heidi Klum were all front row. Click through for more looks. **All photos from Style.com
MILAN--Ferragamo's Spring 2011 show opened to the sounds of waves lapping, I imagine, against a very fancy yacht. Designer Massimiliano Giornetti's collection was, according to the line sheet, "snapshots of a perennial summer, living by lazy rhythms, in boats and rarefied society gatherings." To protect their hair against the sea breeze, models wore Gypsy-like silk kerchiefs, and to keep warm, decadent suede jackets over crocheted bikinis in beachy neutrals. On a bohemian bent, Giorentti sent down long peasant skirts with cropped tops. For a cover up, fluid shimmering full-skirted sheer dresses that could double as evening wear (with the right undergarments, of course). Click through for more looks.
MILAN--It was clear Versus was in a playful mood before the presentation started. The set was a playground complete with a swing set, a slide, and one of those spinny chair things. Despite the fact that the models never actually slid down the slide (much to my dismay), Christopher Kane's collection for Versus made good on that promise of playground fun. The first looks out were bright tartans that seemed to reflect on Kane's Scottish heritage, though they were all prints drawn from the Versus archives. Then he infused the tartans with tight neon floral prints that crossed over the bust on knee-length, form fitting, ruched dresses and inserted them into the pleats of kilts. Gradually the prints gave way to bold rainbow bright color blocked dresses. That's my take. Here's Kane's: "For this Versus SS11 collection I played with combining floral, tartan stripe prints from the Versus archive, to achieve twisted and drape mesh dresses. The colour palette is very bright and optimistic (yellow, green, purple, orange, red and blue). I have worked printed mesh into longer, leaner dresses, and knitwear for a more casual sporty/grungy approach. The core of the collection is multi drape stretch mesh dresses using layers of printed mesh. Short comes in multicoloured pop dresses. Shoes and bags feature print and brogue details." Click through for more looks.
MILAN--Even though Emporio Armani's Spring/Summer 2011 collection was dedicated to the "fancy girl" and a (butchered) version of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side," opened the show, Emporio Armani was anything but wild and fancy. The collection was chic work wear: Pewter and titanium shift dresses that were belted, structured skirts paired with cropped tailored blazers, and tiered chiffon dresses and tops that recalled the underside of jellyfish. The stand-out feature of the collection was a stretch tulle knee-length skirt seen under just about every skirted look in shades of gray. It added interest and edge to the otherwise sensibly chic collection.
MILAN--Dolce & Gabbana's muse is getting married in the spring. She's from a Sicilian family and her trousseau is filled with the finest lace bed linens, tea towels, doilies, and table cloths. Picture Italian actress Simonetta Stefanelli as Apollonia Vitelli, Michael Corleone's young bride in The Godfather. From that trousseau of hand-crafted delicate lace, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana created their sensuous Spring 2011 collection. There were sheer full length dresses, impossibly short baby doll dresses and every length in between. The designers' attention to tailoring shone through in fitted knee length dresses with delicate necklines and three-quarter-length sleeves and day dresses with full skirts. There was plenty of lingerie for the bride's wedding night too: Muslin bloomers with crocheted edges, bralet tops and corsets. While the collection was primarily white, there were some signature leopard moments, and a a few funereal black dresses that looked straight out of Dolce & Gabbana's current ad campaign with Madonna, which flashed against the wall before the show started. Finale dresses for evening had lace trim and floral appliques but were blinged out with heavy beading and crystals that were blinding under the runway lights. The designers ended the show with a dramatic flourish:
MILAN--Max Mara pared down to their very essence for Spring/Summer 2011. The collection was sleek, clean, and sought to embody something they called "new purism." The first looks out were minimalist to the extreme: A camel trench, a mod beige coat with a sharp collar, a putty-colored blazer over a pencil skirt, and a white duster coat (modeled by Karolina Kurkova). After a neutral-colored start, Max Mara punched up the color, pairing skin tight open-backed body suits in lemon yellow, reflector-bright orange, and magenta with matching tailored shorts or exaggerated palazzo pants with slits up the side. Striped dresses and blazers infused the collection with a nautical vibe. Max Mara described their collection as "athletic chic" in their line sheets. And it would suit the wearer to be an athlete (or at least avoid a carbohydrate-heavy meal) before stepping into one of these awesome color blocked long-sleeved body suits because every little curve will show. **All photos from Style.com Click through for more looks. more
MILAN--Raf Simons really knocked it out of the park with his Spring 2011 collection for Jil Sander. Proenza Schouler, Christopher Kane, and, just a few days ago, Miuccia Prada presented collections with neon color palettes. Now add Simons for Jil Sander to that list of designers who favor DayGlo over white and seafoam green for Spring. Simons' shocking fluorescent color palette--like a box of exploded highlighters--was so bright his models wore opaque silver sunglasses as if to protect their eyes. With colors so bright, silhouettes were more in line with Jil Sanders' minimalist tradition, yet they were also voluminous and new. The line sheet made reference to "the language of couture--form, proportion, length and volume" as the inspiration for this new silhouette. The first looks out were taffeta ball gown skirts in neon paired with white short sleeved tees. The skirts then became more fitted, and took on peplum tops, which were seen over pants as well. Trousers were alternately tailored with a sharp seam down the front, or wide-legged to the extreme, with slits up the side of the legs. Light hooded parkas with draw string waists lent the collection a sporty feel. And dramatic column dresses described as "derived from tank tops...super-sized, elongated" made a statement in broad stripes. To enhance the drama, the show was set to Bernard Herrmann's score from Psycho. But just before the shower-stabbing screech of violins, Busta Rhymes' "Gimme Some More" was mixed in (the song samples Herrmann's soundtrack) and all was well. Click through more more looks.
MILAN--Bottega Veneta's Spring 2011 girl is a city girl. Models walked to the sounds of traffic--beeping horns, screeching breaks, and the whirring of rushing cars--and their hair was wet and a bit wavy, not because it was pouring outside, but, I'd like to imagine, because they'd just hopped out of the shower in a rush on their way out the door. Tomas Maier understands that city girls need to be comfortable amidst the hustle and bustle. "We began designing this collection by thinking about the idea of ease," Maier said in a release. To that end he sent down a collection of comfortable dresses and separates in the stand-by colors of any urban dweller: black, white, and variations in between (described by the line sheet as "cream, hay, oak, titanium and blue-black"). Models were shod in, gasp, flat sandals. But the collection had attitude too, as any girl strutting the sidewalks should. Little black dresses had mesh inserts, a sleeveless jacket was done in black crocodile, and floor lengths t-shirt dresses with deep pockets were slouchy sexy. So when more voluminous pieces in a diamond print or dotted with feathers came into the mix, they looked out of place among the ultra cool basics. Click through for more looks.
MILAN--Versace's Spring/Summer 2011 collection was set to a rock rendition of the famous Habanera aria from Bizet's Carmen. Fitting, since, like Carmen, Versace's girls were fiery vamps who looked ready to seduce or kick ass. Or do both at the same time. The models were styled severely: Their hair was slicked back tight until it glistened and their brows were defined to the point of looking angry. It was as if Donatella had assembled a fierce sexed-up army. The uniform? Body-con mini dresses with cut outs galore (at the hips, shoulders and back) in white, then black leather, then red, then a multicolor striped print. There were knee-length pencil skirts too, paired with cropped fitted jackets. Versace's signature Greek fret motif ran throughout the collection, blown up as cut outs on leather jackets and dresses, or shrunk down around skinny belts. The stand out looks were, unsurprisngly, the evening wear dresses at the finale--floor length numbers all in fringe that celeb attendee (and Versace-devotee) January Jones will no doubt be wearing on the red carpet soon. Click through for more looks.
MILAN--"FENDI is the burning summer of passion" the line sheet read for Fendi's Spring/Summer 2011 show. To that effect, the set looked like paper that had been burned, the soundtrack was essentially a woman panting set to a beat, a burnt pattern ran across the hem of several pieces, and billowy geometric cut lantern sleeves on dresses on tunic tops dominated the runway. Karl Lagerfeld's collection for Fendi was gorgeous and sultry and the women who wear these pieces will bring boys to their knees. Though it wasn't an in-your-face kind of sexy (which is usually the best kind). Despite the whole "burning summer of passion" note dresses weren't skin tight, and skirts were not short, but they were suggestive. Tulip skirts were wrapped with a small slit at the front. Long belted dresses with drawstring boat necks and strapless peasant tops emphasized the collar bone. Colors were rich and saturated: There were deep purples, periwinkle blues, orange-y reds and dark khaki set against optical dot prints. In short, this is how I'll be aspiring to dress next summer.
Watch out Lola Leon and Suri Cruise, nine-year-old Willow Smith is gunning for the title of most fashionable celebrity offspring. Sure, she doesn't have a clothing line like Lourdes (yet), but her new single, "Whip My Hair," sound pretty awesome, and this mini-Rihanna has got style for miles and works the red carpet like a seasoned pro. Up next for Will and Jada Smith's youngest? A stop in Milan to view the spring collections, of course. We hear she'll be front row at Ferragamo on Sunday with mom Jada.
Prada Spring 2011 the cheat sheet: - blindingly bright neons (orange, highlighter green, hot pink) - Latin flair - stripes - orthopedic/futuristic platform and wedge sneakers - tight chignons with '20s-style finger waves - striped fur tails (stoles?) dipped in neon, held like clutches Prada Spring 2011, the unabridged version: Leave it to Muiccia Prada to say fuck it to this season's trend of all-white show openers. The first look out was blindingly bright orange, setting the tone for a neon color palette of hot pink, lime green and fluorescent yellow. While many designers have looked to the '70s for spring 2011, Prada's DayGlo color palette was the only thing remotely '70s-inspired about her show. Instead, she went south to Mexico and Cuba and Brazil and maybe Puerto Rico, too. Form-fitting dresses with drop-waist ruffled hems looked like a modern, tripped-out interpretation of something Anita might wear in West Side Story. Oversized striped sombreros hung down models' backs. Monkeys, bananas, and the Chiquita banana lady (OK, it wasn't really her) were printed and embroidered on dresses and tops. And there were hints of the '20s, too, in the models' hair, styled in finger waves, and the decadent fur stoles each model carried (though when the stoles are neon and striped like the tail of an acid-tripping Cheshire cat it makes the '20s reference less linear). It's hard to pin this collection to any distinct decade because it was so modern and bright and forward-thinking.
MILAN--The runway at D&G, Dolce and Gabbana's younger and more affordable line, was lined with actual flowers--daffodils and roses to name a few--because Dolce and Gabbana's girls are going to a garden party for Spring/Summer 2011. But they're not just going to sip cocktails and look pretty in the garden, they're going to get down and dirty and do some gardening, too. Models were styled with kerchiefs and wore floral print bloomers with cropped smock tops, rompers (they're still around), and dresses with apron pockets, paired with wedged wellies. Then they'll break for a picnic, and disappear right into that red-checked blanket, wearing red gingham dresses, jumpers and separates. But don't worry, the D&G girls clean up well, of course, and for the actual, cocktail-sipping garden party, they'll don flowy floral floor-length dresses with ruffled skirts. In fact, D&G's liner notes state that the show "ends with a party al fresco where it is imperative to show up in long floral chiffon gowns." So there. Take a look.