The mix-and-match of pattern-on-pattern is on track to be the biggest trend of Milan fashion week.
Before Versace's fighting words hit the runway Friday evening, Milan had a day full of other fashion events from Etro's Tibetan adventure to Marina Rinaldi's fete to celebrate Ashley Graham as the new face of the brand.
Etro took us to the Himalayas for its fall 2017 show. Guests walked through a mirrored kaleidoscope before entering to a vibrant pink room whose ceiling was draped in thousands of Tibetan prayer flags fashioned out of this season’s textiles.
Designer Veronica Etro presented plenty of the brand’s legacy paisley in flowing silk dresses, topped with cozy tweed parkas, patchwork puffer jackets, and rich ribbon and brocade robes. It was a visual explosion of color and texture, with eternity knots and mandalas placed throughout the collection. This woman is an explorer readying for a new adventures, and one that requires comfortable boots and chic oversized silk messenger bags.
Models walked to Monsoon’s eighties hit “Ever So Lonely” and traditional Hindu chants before guest quickly made off with the velvet cushions.
Marco de Vincenzo
From the first look, a faux fur in vibrant blue with a dazzling night sky and boots to match, Marco di Vincenzo presented a collection infused with both playfulness and authority.
The layering of stripes and florals or palm fronds and plaid echoed the rich mix of pattern on pattern we saw yesterday at Prada. Pleated skirts were delicate but not too demure, with girlish pale pink offset by bright blue hair and pencil skirts in PVC.
And while there was plenty of leopard, copper dresses with animal print were delicately laser cut which kept it from being overwhelming. Much of the vibrancy doesn’t translate to photos, especially the sparkle of silver boots that were so brilliant they were practically glowing on the runway.
Di Vincenzo envisioned the collection as a “rather peculiar idea of ladylike dressing – slightly lysergic and decidedly off-kilter,” but while the show notes referenced it as “garish” it was a strong collection for the young designer.
Marina Rinaldi party
With Ashley Graham just named the new face of the brand, Marina Rinaldi celebrated with a mini concert from Macy Gray. Graham said signing on with the luxury brand was about more than “being just a pretty face” for a campaign.
“It’s really part of my mission as an advocate for women,” she said. “I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, and we’ve done a ton of work as far as shape and size and age, but the body conversation is exhausting. It’s exhausting to talk about your weight and pant size all the time and make that part of your definition. It’ doesn’t define women.”
She said the modern woman can be a brand an boss and a business woman, citing Gigi and Bella Hadid and the Kardashian/Jenner clan as inspirations.
As far as the recent Sports Illustrated “size and age” issue, Graham dismissed any controversy over the choice of featuring three covers of Kate Upton. “Kate is a cover girl, and remember she's not a runway size either,” she said, also pointing out the inclusion of size 16 model contest winner Hunter McGrady. “It was so liberating to see her. She proves it’s not a trend.”
As for the Rinaldi collection that varied from day coats embroidered with dragonflies to shimmery Lurex and lace cocktail dresses, Graham said: “It’s insane that this is the only luxury brand for plus size women. Women are clamoring for this.”
Gray got the crowd dancing with a funky version of Rod Stewart's classic “If You Want My Body.”
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