Milan Fall 2011: Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, Versus, Salvatore Ferragamo, Marni

Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2011 Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2011
Getty Images(MILAN) Dolce & Gabbana
The crowd left the Dolce & Gabbana show on Saturday afternoon wondering if they actually saw the show. A dozen-odd monitors, livestreaming comments left on Facebook and a dedicated Dolce web portal, was also showing an assault of backstage B-roll, even as the looks hit the runway. One didn’t quite know where to turn. Do Dolce and Gabbana want a crowd that studies, considers, and remembers—or just one that Tweets about it? There were so many memorable looks that a less-scattered audience would have been to the designers’ advantage. The two dueling ideas were menswear and stars, the former used in drop-crotch suits worn with button-ups, oxfords, and full off-to-work regalia. Even Abbey Lee could have been confused for a garcon. The star stuff began as a print on diaphanous chiffon dresses and blouses. Eighties music nodded to nostalgia, but these clothes are perfectly suited for a working girl in 2011. As the model-flooded runway entertained look after look after look, in dizzying succession, the two motifs intermingled and left everyone with star-spangled suits. Shoes and bags bearing musical notes and keyboard patterns added the necessary funk. As this review is published, barely two hours have passed since the show began, but Twitter is already trending elsewhere.

To the sounds of “Sweet Jane,” Angela Missoni unleashed a sweet (but not quite saccharine), sherbet-hued Fall collection that’s just perfect for “fairytale creatures.” Baby pink furs, giant ombre sweaters, houndstooth ultra-wide pants, floor-grazing silk crepe skirts, and the usual mix of knits (what can’t these factories do?), and pastel python jackets may not be for tutto, but by the time a teary-eyed Missoni hit the end of her runway, clasping the hand of her father Ottavio, there was nary a nonbeliever in the house. (Who doesn’t want to live la vie Missoni for a few days? Blame the ads!) A patchwork biker boot, after all, will work with an all-black wardrobe. And an aqua, lilac, and buttercream long woven skirt can translate beautifully to the street with the help of a white tee. It’s Missoni’s exuberant styling, and the pure pile-on of it all, that gives this house its particular joie. Serious clothing with a light heart. Angela, Milan owes you one!

Is Versus really Versace’s answer to a commercial collection? The question was raised when approximately half of Christopher Kane‘s looks revealed themselves to include patches or entire sections of boned corsetry backed in mesh. Wearable? If you’re lucky. Directional? Sure. The A-line skirts, shown in wool and leather, were more sales-floor friendly—a good thing, since Versace’s growth strategy has placed considerable focus on this line. The woven wool-and-lame separates bearing a diamond pattern will be easy bait for conservative types testing the waters on Fall’s eighties trend. Metallic flashes of silver, turquoise and violet punctuated the mostly-black palette, and the minimalist shapes—long leather trench, straight overcoat, the occasional soose-ish sweater—weren’t entirely foreign to the ones Donatella Versace showed just a few nights ago at Via Gesu. There is a complicit; Versus is Kane’s training ground for a long and prosperous future at Versace. Wait ’til he spreads his wings.

Salvatore Ferragamo
How many different ways can one dress shine? Ferragamo must be coveting some Hollywood action because the last five dresses in Massimiliano Giornetti‘s Fall collection will be giving the Armanis and Versaces a run for their money. They were technically black, but the Swarovski mesh and layered-on lace rendered them luminous. The silhouettes were classic gown fare—bustier, column, etcetera—but the technical prowess (in the ready-to-wear realm) is newsworthy. Velvet tuxes were another option, if only to further the menswear idea anointed for day. Houndstooth, Prince of Wales, and pinstripes were used in boxy, borrowed-from-your-banker-husband blazers and overcoats. More femme options included robe manteaus with plunging necklines and equally indecent slits. A happy medium was found in silk chiffon blouse-and-skirt combos, in a mishmash of black and white patterns. The shoe is a sex kitteny pump; the bag, a briefcase or frame clutch. The look? Fearless. Giornetti is having fun with this brand, and the fruits of his labor are delicious.

Consuelo Castiglioni
‘s sixties-esque, big-print, bright-color aesthetic is particularly on-trend for Fall 2011, and accordingly, she switched things up. Graphic modular prints, which she’s played with in the past, were treated in colors like mustard, hunter green, and even a touche of turquoise (mon dieu, we’ve been referencing those hues so many times this week!). A particularly fetching print was a paintery plaid print in neon fuschia, pale pink, and cadet blue. In a jacket-pant combo, it was fearlessness at its best. Castiglioni’s specialty pieces that stood out from the pack, especially her belted furs, knit foxes, and jeweled T-shirt dresses. Marni for evening? Yes, please.


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