1. A Small Presentation Was the Week’s Sleeper Hit
A favorite amongst the fashion set, Marco Zanini — the former creative director at Rochas and Schiaparelli — returned this week with a small collection for the Italian shoe wear brand Santoni. The line, which is titled Edited by Marco Zanini, is comprised of the perfect selection of chic outerwear, colorful knits and elegant shoes. In an industry that thrives so often on more is more, it was a nice break to see a curated selection of really good clothes.
2. There Were Some Really Great Headpieces
Milan Fashion Week may have the reputation of being all about craftsmanship — which is certainly true — but this season demonstrated there’s also something else the city should be known for: really good hats. Prada showed entirely feathered headpieces — and Gucci sent a model onto the runway in an extra-large straw hat. (Another model had a mesh crystal full body stocking that covered her entire head.) And at Emilio Pucci, wide-brimmed fringed hats looked like giant lampshades that concealed models’ faces as they walked.
3. Tod’s Threw the Chicest Cocktail Party of the Week
To celebrate the release of the brand’s book, “Timeless Icons” — which features some of the most stylish people in modern history — Tod’s president and CEO Diego Della Valle hosted an ultra-elegant cocktail party at the jewel-like museum Villa Necchi, most famous for its appearance in the film “I Am Love.” And the following day, the brand showed its fall/winter 2017 collection in the form of a live installation by the artist Thomas De Falco — starring none other than Naomi Campbell.
4. … But Armani Hosted the Best Dance Party.
Giorgio Armani has its own nightclub — so it’s pretty fitting that it would know how to throw a killer party. The brand hosted a big bash on Thursday, which featured a live performance by La Femme and a D.J. set by Alex Brown — and editors, designers and special members alike danced the night away.
5. The Entire Gucci Show Was Spectacular
With a new headquarters and an inaugural combined men’s and women’s show, Gucci opened up Milan Fashion Week with a bang. Violet curtains pulled back to reveal a runway enclosed in a plastic greenhouse that surrounded a mirrored pyramid. The set was like an art installation, and what followed was more like a performance more than a show. With a startling 119 looks, the collection was a mash-up of vintage references, reinvented — and the progression of models was like a show from another time. Now several seasons in, Alessandro Michele continues to evolve — and dazzle us.
6. Yet Again, Prada Had the Most Artful Set
There is something unique about entering the Prada compound — you walk into the show space ready to be totally amazed. One season, the set was fashioned into a mountain of purple sugary sand; another it was a giant metal cage. Each season, the set alludes to the collection and Miuccia Prada’s complex approach. This time, the show space was constructed into a maze-like bedroom with beds jutting out. With walls covered in stickers and posters, it brought to mind a young girl’s bedroom — and the collection mimicked that youthful state of mind.
7. Missoni Sent the Strongest Political Message
So far it’s been a season filled with political statements — but in Milan,Missoni’s was the most overt. As guests filtered into the show, they were given specially designed Missoni pussy hats — and at the end, instead of taking her usual bow, the designer Angela Missoni took to the microphone. With her family around her, she addressed the crowd to make an impassioned speech about women’s rights. “Let’s show the world that the fashion community is united and fearless,” she said.
8. Halima Aden Is the New Runway Star
This season more than ever, runway casting has thankfully been more diverse: Shows have included models of all of many different ages, sizes and ethnicities. In Milan, it was all about Halima Aden, the 19-year-old Somali-American model who walked in the Alberta Ferretti and Max Mara shows wearing her hijab. Let’s hope that Aden — who also appeared in Kanye’s Yeezy show in New York — will be a more regular presence at the shows going forward.
9. It Was a Good Week for the New Generation of Italian Designers
Amongst all the big luxury fashion brands to show during the week, there’s an exciting new crop of independent female designers in Milan. Attico, Sara Battaglia and F.R.S (For Restless Sleepers) are relatively new to the city’s show calendar — but they’re already paving the way for a new Italian aesthetic. Each brand showed their collections in small presentations at home rather than big runway shows. And each designer makes clothes for women that feels like an extension of their personal style ethos. It’s exciting to see women who are really shaking up Italian fashion.
10. There Was an Emotional Farewell to Franca Sozzani
The shows concluded on Monday with a memorial Mass to honor the late Franca Sozzani, the editor in chief of Italian Vogue who died in December. Held at the most famous landmark in Milan — the Duomo — guests included designers, as well as her great friends and colleagues who bid farewell to the visionary editor.