Milan Fashion Week kicked off Wednesday morning with a series of virtual events: a where a quartet of brands stood out – Missoni, DSquared2, Herno and new boy on the block A Cold Wall. For a spring-summer 2021 season may be bereft of audiences, but not of ideas.
The Italian season’s biggest debut was A Cold Wall, the acclaimed conceptual collection by Samuel Ross. The London-based designer makng his entry into Milan with a video entitled My Brother’s Keeper.
No one can ever fault Ross for his vision. His darkly short moody film had guys wrestling balletically; binding or blocking each other’s vision, as the music churned moodily. A Cold Wall stands for sartorial street cool; just like this collection, which added in an intriguing padded looks to its oeuvre for next spring – from thickened vests and waistcoats to streamlined puffers. Half through he changed gear with a series of distressed denims and faded matelassé looks in denim and techy cottons. They all looked great.
But the biggest news was the sartorial touches, from the combat waistcoat worn over strict suits to the padded flight jackets, all displayed to a great abstract techno soundtrack courtesy of Afrodeutsche, the Manchester-based DJ known for her eclectic polyrhythmic style.
For a fledgling talent restricted by the pandemic, this was an impressive entrance into Milan.
Instead of a show, mini catwalk, proper presentation or even phygital event, Missoni served up its latest ad campaign as the opening calendar event of the six-day season in Milan.
Named Postcard from the Bel Paese, it featured Italian models Vittoria Cerretti and Eduardo Sebastianelli. The gal writing postcards; the guy strolling down medieval alleys. The pair walking arm in arm looking very in love, in the way only beautiful young Italians can.
“This is the right moment to break the mould and try something new. The purpose of the show has changed. It used to be to show the collection to the trade and to the press. Today, it goes immediately to the public and the final consumer… So closer to the actual season we will build a communication project,” argued designer Angela Missoni in stilted conversation with local style journalist Angelo Flocavento
Shot in Santa Maria del Monte, a romantic hilltop town with views of Alpine lakes, in the province of Varese, the birthplace of Missoni. Clothes wise, lots of long graphic cashmere cardigans and pants suits, or Lurex blazers for ladies; zig zag wraps and nonchalant weekend chalk-stripe pants for the guys.
“My mother and father started the business in the basement of their own house. So domesticity is a part of our family, company and factory. Plus, I have a passion for old postcards, recalled Angela, noting that nearly anywhere her father went he would mail a postcard.
DSquared2 – Photo: Milan Fashion Week – Milan Fashion Week
DSquared2: Not the usual suspects
DSquared2 kept things simple – with the cast of models lined up like perps in a police eyewitness identification line. Though, thankfully, the fashion was not the usual suspects.
Instead a band self-confident hipsters: the women in micro mini-strap little black dresses; see-through naughty negligées; blotchy acid-dyed jazz jeans; fab elephantine khaki officers trousers worn with lace tops; or white power-shoulder boyfriend coats. Tough yet sensitive and all very flattering.
The guys in excellent elongated cargo party pants; tuxedo with mat black crystal lapels; MiG pilot flight jackets; chain metal tanks and aviator pants.
All the pants cut three inches too long to give a cool floppy silhouette, devil may care style. Plenty of flesh on display, as unlike Keyser Söze, these kids ain’t got nothing to hide.
Hero – Photo: Milan Fashion Week – Milano Fashion Week
Herno: A day on its Lake
The morning’s most succinct brand statement came from Herno, with a wee movie called A day in Lesa, with leggy lasses wandering around this pretty town on the shores of Lago di Maggiore, or posing in front of Volkswagen Beetle convertibles.
All mixed up with great old footage of La Prima rallye della Moda; black and white catwalk shows from the 60s and old images of Herno’s factory in this lovely town, known for its grand lakeside palazzi, where the country’s poet famous novelist Alessandro Manzoni wrote his best works. The brand actually gets its name from the river Erno that flows into Lago Maggiore.
Gals in logo trenches and scarves; natty new raingear worn with the house’s signature lightweight down vests and boleros – worn dancing on tables in Herno’s plant; or on
to a bucolic boat trip on a classic Riva over to Stresa, where Clark Gable, Hemingway and Charlie Chaplin all summered.
Retro definitely, with its Italian ballad soundtrack, but rarely has an Italian apparel plant looked so sexy. Talk about smart brand building from this cleverly managed brand.