Recession? When it comes to Milan Fashion Week, there’s no such thing; no one does rich like the Italian fashion crowd and even the snow didn’t seem to stop them. From the word go Milan took us to the dark side; Gucci’s rainbow collection of SS13 was out and black, dark jewel colours and fierce slicked back hair was in; the AW13 Gucci girl meant business. Highlights included python skin skirt suits, embroidery, feathers and the gorgeously feminine (but tough) silk skirted evening gowns. Versace came out strong, exploring the punk revolution with tartan/pvc clad models storming the catwalk; even Prada kept the tone dark, using grungy browns and flashes of mustard. Moving away from the strong silhouettes, Prada concentrated on softer drapes in tweeds, un-fitted leathers and fur with some Prada magic coming from the occasional flash of contrasting colour (I need the aqua green tweed two piece!!!). So where was the fun? The kitsch glamour? The colour of the Italian fashion capital? That job was for one man, Karl Lagerfeld for Fendi with his ‘FF’ Fun Fur archive collection. Fendi AW13 showed off a collection of fur like you’ve never seen it, accompanied by mohawke’s and what looked (at first) like a small Sesame Street character hanging off each bag, the mood was lightened and Fendi took centre stage.
It was then left to Dolce and Gabbanna to help to bring Milan to an end with their beautiful, classic and oh so Italian collection that, as always, Wowed!
Gucci RTW AW13: Look 3, Look 30, Look 43 and Look 45
Fendi RTW AW13: Look 8, Look 19, Look 22 and Look 27
Dolce&Gabbana RTW AW13: Look 5, Look 46 and Look 70
And so to London, the excitement mounted! Never one to disappoint, LFW seems to get better every season and this week was no different. Christopher Kane showed no less than 60 looks – successfully capitalising on the extra budget he now has thanks to investment from the French luxury conglomerate PPR’s, Tom Ford returned to main stream fashion week and after an exciting NYFW it was up to London to keep the tempo going. With such a forward thinking line up there was no doubt London could rise to the challenge…..
David Koma AW13: Look 3, Look 14 and Look 17
- The ‘Coming of Age’ – David Koma: A designer I have appreciated but never personally taken note of until now. Apparently this season the inspiration came from old vinyl records, but there was nothing old about this collection. The use of innovative, interesting textures and materials gave David Koma’s AW13 offering an intriguing subtlety that hasn’t been present in previous collections. I can imagine the cooler crowd warming to these pieces; think Alexa in Look 14 (above) with a pair of Chanel pumps? No? I’m sure Koma won’t need to look far to find some other A-Lister waiting in the wings…
Burberry Prorsum AW13: Look 6, Look 10, Look 12 and Look 38
- The Fashion Powerhouse – Burberry Prorsum: Pre SS13 the last few seasons from Burberry have all merged into one, the colour pallet and cuts seemed to be duplicated and as attractive as they were, I felt the collections became a little predictable. SS13 however couldn’t go by un-noticed and was a rainbow of metallic beauties that I’m sure will adorn the front rows of fashion week but perhaps on a more commercial level not so much. That brings us to the latest offering, AW13 which in my opinion ticked all the Burberry boxes and then some! As soon as Karlie Kloss walked out in Look 6 sporting that rubber pencil skirt/shirt combo I knew we were in for a treat! Still as effortless and on-brand as ever, the collection highlight was the variety of animal prints on offer, often all mixed together. Evening-wear isn’t Burberry’s strong point so the metal belted pieces that came towards the end of the show, can be left in the sample room and the rest? That can be sent directly to me…please?
Matthew Williamson AW13: Look 1, Look 4 and Look 15
- The Surprise – Matthew Williamson: When I think of Matthew Williamson I think bohemian, pattern, sexy, womanly, perhaps not words you would use to describe the AW13 show. From the off, Look 1 consisting of a sculptural coat with geometric inserts would have looked more at home on the Carvan catwalk -that was until the rest of the collection was revealed. The 70’s colour pallet and geometric patterns ran throughout with particular favourites, the striped dress and suit, the wrap skirt and fringed necklace added that bohemian edge to a strong new direction for Matthew Williamson.
As London drew to a close nearly as quickly as it started we were left with a more grown-up feel; brands seemed to have experimented subtly with textures and materials rather than full on looks. It may now be the shortest fashion week but it is still the sweetest!