Even amidst the “unfashionably early” arrival of coronavirus in Italy, Milan Fashion Week dominated the fashion scene with a range of bold looks, from classy black dresses to gem-colored gowns cascading down runway floors. Some, according to THE CUT, stretched fashion boundaries by using the coronavirus “as an opportunity for a selfie in a surgical mask.” Who can blame them? Seeing Billie Eilish pull off a Gucci mask at the Grammy Awards was a definite vogue moment. In all seriousness, Emilia Petrarca expresses her concerns about how “the fashion industry has a tendency to not only dramatize but also trivialize issues” in the article. Only a few designers extended public safety measures by calling off shows in exchange for virtual sessions. Still, the shows were vibrant as ever (thanks to modern technology) and bragged a slew of fabulous looks.
Most notably, Milan Fashion Week gestured to the return of several trends. First, we saw the comeback of fringe in Prada, Bottega Veneta, Jil Sander, Dolce & Gabbana, and Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini. Perhaps the appeal of fringe lies in how the fabric dances to the beat of the body —da-dum, da-dum, da-dum — or the opportunity for two-toned fabric surprises. But hey, if the fashion world wants fringe, we’ll take it!
Metallic looks were another eye-catching highlight. On Friday, the fashion week crowd was blessed to experience Kendall Jenner strut the runway in a sexy, silver Versace dress. MSGM gave us a head-to-toe sequin dress, whilst Marni rocked gold accents throughout its collection.
Ruffles and lace were a delicious addition to Milan Fashion Week. Marie Antoinette was a prominent guest at the Moschino show and sat front row, eating dresses off models’ backs. “Let them eat cake!” Jeremy Scott could not have utilized icing in a better way. Gucci served up erotic lace-straddled looks effeminated by pastel ruffles—or as Emily Petrarca describes in her article, Gucci’s Circle of Life, “an extension of what we’ve come to expect from Gucci: eccentric freaks and geeks, Italian opulence and piety, plus some kinkiness from last season.” Emilio Pucci brought us back to 2020 with an upgraded version of a slip dress, and Alberta Ferretti transcended everyone with elegant ruffle gowns kissing the runway floors.
True to the Winter/Fall spirit, puffers and furs were other staples. Moncler collaborated with JW Anderson, Simone Rocha, Richard Quinn amongst others, to show off out-of-this-world puffer looks. Giorgio Armani pulled an all-green ensemble, showcasing a breath-taking tufted feather coat to cameras. Versace boasted Kaia Gerber in an animal print orange fur jacket, and Vivetta impressed with wholesome prints of a scenic country-side view.
Last but not least, designers stunned spectators with monochromatic outfits. Fendi and SportsMax paid homage to Karl Lagerfeld with bold “little black dresses” (in truth, not so little) that displayed unique structure and elegance. Jil Sander became a beautiful, snowy knit package—perfect for a romantic winter outing. Maxmara turned into Kaia Gerber’s “kind of bride” when they sent her out in an oversized, feminine white suit.
Milan Fashion Week was a blast. Despite Coronavirus, designers still came through with innovative and uplifting designs, that will hopefully, replace the mask trend. As an inhabitant of South Korea, where coronavirus cases multiply daily, I send out prayers to those suffering from the virus and hope that others can empathize alongside me. As Prabal Gurung responded to the ignorance and racism sparked by coronavirus on Instagram: “How can we fight hate? We can overcome it if we open our hearts & minds, and allow empathy to guide us.” With this spirit, I look forward to Seoul Fashion Week, which despite cancellation, is awaiting to showcase.
Featured Image via Instagram